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Editor of the American Antiqiiarion. 






A. D. i!-<yu. 

|Jtcl)istoiic CVmciica. 

-^oaij. XI. 


A N D 




J-j'ili/iir ri/ /III- A iiwriran A iitiiiiai ri<i n. 

CIIICAOU, 11,1,.: 



"SIS. 7 




An Affectionate Testimonial, of 
Gratitude and Respect. 


This book is the result of personal explorations wliich have con- 
tinued at intervals for several years. The explorations have been 
mainlv in the state of ^^'isconsin but have extended into Iowa and 
parts of Ohio. The effort of the author, however, has been to give 
information about all eftigy mounds. He has therefore drawn from 
descriptions of mounds which have been explored bv other parties. 
These are situated in Dakota, eastern Iowa, Georgia, Florida, as 
well as in Ohio and AVisconsin. Where the account is taken from 
other books full credit has been given. Tlie encravinsfs in the 
])Ook have been mainly prepared from drawings made bv the 
author, anci these from the notes of surveys reduced to a scale of 
inches. A number of them however, have been taken from the 
works previously published, such as "Ancient ^lonuments," or 
''Smithsonian Contributions, Vol. I,'' Lapham's "Antiquities of 
Wisconsin," '•'Smithsonian Reports," ",\nnual Reports of the Eth- 
nological Bureau," "American Naturalist," "Wisconsin Historical 
Collections" and "Proceedings of Wisconsin Academv i^f Science 
and Art." 

The engravings are generalh" silhouettes. They do not represent 
the mounds in relief, but nevertheless give a good idea of their shapes. 
Silhouettes are better than outline drawings for the\' represent the 
sha2:)e of the animals and suggest the ideas of relief. Both of these, 
however, are imperfect for the\' do not illustrate the beautiful earth 
moulding which was so close an imitation of the actual living creature. 
If the mounds could be given in section the relief would be better 
understood but in the majoritv of cases the mounds are so Avoru 
down that the section would not really represent the eihgy as it was 
when it was finished and therefore this has not been undertaken. 
Photographs of the mounds would probablv have been more ac- 
curate than plotting and drawing to a scale, but photographs would 
represent the worn condition and would have j^roved unsatisfactor\'. 
The drawings are generally on a scale of joo ft. to an inch. Where 
groups were to be described the scale was reduced to 300 ft. to an 
inch. Where maps of several groups are given it is reduced to 
400 ft. The topograph}- has, in a few cases, been represented in the 
engravings. The descriptions of the mounds have been written with 
care after they had been visited several times. It was the experience 
of the author that a single visit was not sufHcient, for each suc- 
cessive visit would be sure to bring out some new point, either new 
mounds were discovered or new relations of the mounds to the 
topography were recognized, or new ideas were gained as to the 
use of the mounds or new significance seen in their shapes. 


As to the points which the author has soiiii;ht to brin^ out 1)\- 
his explorations and descriptions the following is a summary: 

First — the shape of the effigies. Great care has been taken to 
make the shape conform to the measurements, and yet the effigies 
have been studied by the eye so as to bring out the actual figures. 

Second— The grouping of the effigies. The relative position of 
the various figures in the groups and the relative position of the 
groups in each series and of the series to each locality have all been 
studied. The practical use of the effigies could not be ascertained 
without thus studying the system. 

Third — The relation of the effigies to the topography has been 
closely scrutinized for this often reveals the real object. The ele- 
vation as well as the location has been studied. The view from 
the mounds has also always been noticed. It is an outside obser- 
vation which often suggests the intent and purpose of the effigy as 
well as the measurement of the figure itself. 

Fourth — The contents of the mounds have been studied ^vith 
more or less care. Excavation has not been the chief object. Relic 
hunting is not a specialty with the writer. 

Fifth — The totem system and clan life liave been carefully in- 
vestigated. The location of the effigies with the geographical sur- 
rountling will reveal much of the real histor}- and character of the 
builders. The shape of the effigies will often show the name or 
emblem of the clan. This inner history of the people has been u 
chief object of study. 

The destruction of the monuments has been a great hinderancc 
to the full understanding of them. The writer considers himself 
fortunate in having entered upon this field before the destruction 
was carried on further than it is. In a few years the data would 
have been lost and it would have been impossible to give the ex- 
planation of groups. Even the destruction of a single mound will 
at times destroy the clue which is essential to understand the groups. 
The mvthologic significance and the intent of the effigies as pic- 
ture writing cannot be deciphered when any of the figures have 
disappeared. It is to ])e hoped that the effigies will be preserved 
and that this book will be an inducement for the continuance of the 
.study and will increase the interest in them us the monuments of a 
people which has passed away. 


Pkki ACE . vii 


History of explorations; Marquette, Jonathan Carver, (General 
J.C.Long; Survey of the Mineral Lands; John Locke; 
R. Taylor; S. Taylor; Dr. Lapham's survey; Moses Strong; 
Dr. J. X. De PLirt; T. H. Lewis; The authors explorations, xv 




Emblematic Mounds, interesting objects of studv. suppositions 
as to their use; imitations of animals; iliffercnt classes of ani- 
mals I'epresented by them; land animals, amphibious crea- 
tures, birds or creatures of the air, fishes and water animals; 
inanimate objects. Land animals especiallv treated in this 
chapter; these arc divided as follows: animals with horns, 
including grazing animals; animals with tails, including the 
fur-bearing; animals without horns or tails, mninh' liea^^ts of 
prey. I 



The importance of identifying the animals; much ignorance 
concerning them; the interest may be increased ; many ab- 
surdities to be corrected; some disputed points to be cleared 
up; the problem of the elephant effigy. Difficulties in the 
way of identifying the animals; the animal moundt. not al- 



ways distinct in their outlines; a want of familiarity with the 
animals; imagination often misleads the spectator; the size 
of the mounds hinders one fron^. recognizmg the animals; 
aids toward recognition. 23 



Four questions arise a1>out the hirds; the shapes of the birds; 
their habits and haunts, their character and disposition; the 
method of cdassifying the birds. I. How lairds may be rec- 
ognized in the efHgies; by the sh;ipe of their wings; the diff- 
erent species may be recognized by the beaks and tails as well 
as wings. H. Certain mistakes which have been made in 
reference to birds; certain birds called crosses,"man mounds," 
bow and arrow, others spear and arrow-points. HI. The 
effio"v builders represented the habits of the birds, habits of 
fli"-ht. <'-rer'-arious ha1)its, habits as birds of ijrev or peaceable 
birds; habits as water birds. IX . The hidden intent or sig- 
nificance of the bird effigies; some of them are composite 
moimds. 47 



The effi<'"ies regarded as works of art; the attitudes of the ani- 
mals shown in great variety ; four or five attitudes of the bear, 
panther, the weasel; the effigies fnrnisli a picture of animal 
life* H. The superstitious views of the efligy builders aided 
them in representing the attitudes; animals regarded as to- 
tems and divinities; the moods of the animals represented by 
the effi'^-ies. HI. The attitudes of the animals sometimes 
rendered the effigies useful ; the distorted effigies served as 
"■ame drives, and as screens for shooting into water fowl, 
and as walls for protection. 6S 



The effigies were religious symbols. I. Shown in the location 
of the mounds; the effigies are associated with the natural 



features of the earth and become exponents of nature wor- 
ship. II. The effigies correspond to the shape of the ground 
and so sucrtrcst animism as well as totemism or animal wor- 
ship. III. The relation of the effigies to mythology; tradi- 
tion made perpetual by the effigies; the Great Serpent mound 
in Ohio. 94 



The religion of the effigy-builders remote, hut their agriculture 
brings tlicm near. I. Proof thnt agriculture prevailed in pre- 
historic times; the description given by travelers. Different 
tokens prove that the effigy builders were agriculturists; the 
Indian tribes were agriculturists. II. The tokens of agricul- 
ture; copper spades; stone hoes; garden beds; also corn 
fields. III. Association of emblematic mounds with agricul- 
tural works; the locationof garden beds and corn fields along 
with animal effigies; localities wdiere effigies were built in 
corn fields; intaglio effigies in corn fields used for hiding 
places. 113 



The use (jf mountls for hunting purposes. I. The hunting races 
which formerly dwelt on the continent; explorers have de- 
scribed; geographical localities where they dwelt; bells of lat- 
itude characterized by different employments; the emblem- 
atic Mound Builders and Indians compared. II. Emblematic 
mounds built l>v hunters; Wisconsin a place where wild ani- 
mals abounded ; proofs that they were built by hunters; their 
shape exhibits familiarity with the wild animals; also their 
locations. III. The hunting habits of the later races illus- 
trate the methods of entrapping game; the superstition of 
the Indians about wild animals. IV. Places where the em- 
blematic mounds were used for huntmg purposes; certain 
game drives described. 145 





The cffiifics .show wlKit animals aboiiiulccl; lhc\ illu^ll•atc the 
totem system; native svmholism contained in the effigies. 
T. The animal effigies were widely distrihuted ; mounds in 
Florida, in Georgia, in Ohio, in Wisconsin. II. The totem 
system of different tribes would account for this. III. The 
introduction of svmbols and animal effigies from other coun- 
tries considered ; the Great Serpent mound and the Elephant 
effigv. ^y. The effigies compared to the relics which con- 
tain animal tigures; inscribed tablets, the pictographs, rock 
Inscriptions, the sign language, animals car\ed in stone and 
wood, architectural ornamentation; native symbols. 169 



I. The existence of village life; it pre\ailed among the Indians; 
traditions show it; succession of races; the effigy builders were 
like the Indians; village sites ha\ e been discovered; effigies 
surround these village sites; the proximity of effigies to vil- 
lages of later Indians. II. One village site identified by the 
situation of the effigies; their arrangement; a second village 
site identified bv the caches, by the effigies around it, by 
the gateway, bv the liurial mounds, liy the game drive; a 
third village site, that at Aztalan, identified by the wall, by 
the bastions, platforms, cellars, effigies, lookout mounds; a 
fourth village site identified at (Jreen Lake by the effigies 
that guard the gates, by the landing places. III. Were the 
villages clan residences? the clan emblems may be recogniz- 
ed in some; lone etfigies mark clan boimdaries; the clan to- 
tem or name ma\- be recognized in the eifigies. 193 



A difficult question; arehieology is to lie studied to ascertain it. 
I. vSuccession of races; four races identified; tiie effigv build- 



crs the earliest; the phiccs where the successioi of races ma}- 
be shown: near Prairie du Chien; on the Wisconsin river; 
near ^ladison; near Koshkonong; near Aztahni. II. The 
difference in the races, shown by tlieir tokens; tlie skulls; the 
stone relics; the copper relics; the ancient mines. III. Age 
of the emblematic ^lound Builders; the effigies Iniilt before 
any of the Indian villages known to history; the relics show 
this; the corn hills are found above the effigies; there are no 
effigies of modern annuals among the emblematic niounds. 219 




The cinblcmatic niounds and animal cifigies form the subject of 
the book which we are to present to our readers. They are very 
interestin<2^ f)l)jects of study. The mounds are mainlv in the 
shape of animals. They are formed of earth, and are generally 
raised abo\e the surface of the ground and present the shaj^e of 
animals in such a way as to impress the senses with the resemblance. 
It is not merely because they are accurate imitations of animals nor 
because they represent animals which haye long since disappeared 
from the regions, that they become so interesting, but because of 
their religious significance 

We regard the emblematic mounds as totems, and haye so pre- 
sented them in this book. Totemism is not fully understood and yet 
so much is known about it that any one can realize that it is a yery 
important element in the life of many of the prehistoric races. 
Totemism is not confined to the American soil. It appears in Af- 
rica, in Arabia, and in eycr)' land where tribes are in existence, 
especially where the tribal organization has its full and free scope. 
There is no doubt but that the tribes of Israel, at a yery early date, 
had some features of totemism among them, for we haye allusions 
to these totems in the words of the patriarch when he blessed his 
sons. The tribe of Issacher had the wild ass as its totem, but the 
tribe of Judah had the young lion. The emblem of the tribe of 
Dan was a serjient in the way, that of Xaphthali was a hind let 
loose, that of jk'njamin a wolf. These were all animal emblems, 
and the pictui'e of the animals giyen to us by the word painting of 
the patriarch becomes yer}- suggestiye of the history of the people. 

Wc are to take up the study of the emblematic mounds not mere- 
Iv as imitations but as emblems. We are to recognize the artistic 
skill embodied in tliem, but we arc to go beyond this and to search 
out the siL'nilicance of the figures. The etiigies were useful as well 
as ornamental. We are to discoyer the use of the elfigies. We in- 
yite our readers to accompany us in the many pleasant walks which 
we are to take oyer the l)eautiful hill-tops and along the delightful 
streams and riyers and around the baid<s of the charming lakes with 
a yiew of studyinjr these remarkable fifjures. We shall find them 
embossed upon the surface of the ground, but in a great yariety of 
shapes. The animals may not be familiar to us, and at times it may 


be (lilViciilt U> rccojTfiii/.c from the form, the animal which was in- 
tended and vet if we will take tlie tape-line and the compass and 
measnre them out and reduce them to a scale of inches we shall not 
fail to recoj^nize the animal. It was a new discovery when the 
survevors iirst brou<^ht (nit the fi^-ures of these animals hv their j:)lats. 
The emblematic mounds may ha\e existed upon the soil for hun- 
drctls of vears l^efore they were visited by white men at all; but 
after the white man came into the region where they are it was a 
hundred and fiftv vears before they discovered that they were in the 
shape of animals. ]SIarquette,Allouez, Joliet, and other missicmaries 
passed through Wisconsin as early as 1680. They visited the In- 
dian villages at Green Bav and on the Fox River and made a rec- 
ord of the people who dwelt in those villages. They saw the corn 
fields around the villages and were interested in watching the Indi- 
ans as they gathered rice in the swamps not far from the villages^ 
but they did not notice the mounds that were in the neighborhood. 
At that time wild animals were unfamiliar to them, and as thev de- 
scribed them, they could onlv compare them to others in Europe. 
We learn from their letters that ihe buffalo was then roaming over 
the prairies of Illinois as far east as Lake Michigan. Hennepin 
traversed the shore of Lake ^Michigan and at certain places ascend- 
ed the banks and shot antelopes amid the forests. His letters also 
convince us that these animals were common in Wisconsin at that 
time. Jonathan Carver in 1790 passed up the Fox river, doun the 
A\'isconsin, and visited the various Indian villages. He speaks of 
the mounds, but he imagined them to be fortifications. He also 
speaks of the corn-fields. These mounds and the remains of the 
corn-fields we ha\ e (lisco\ cred, and so have been able to identify 
where the villages were. We have not dwelt upon the historical 
part of the subject Init have confined ourselves to the efiigies. The 
history of the discovery of the efligies we have considered import- 
ant and so we make it the subject of an introduction. 

The survey and exploration among the emblematic mounds may 
be said to have commenced as early as 1S23 when ]SIajor Long 
passed across the northern part of the state of Illinois and the south- 
western part of Wisconsin, on his way to the sources of the St. 
Peters river. Major Long made a map of his route and laid down 
on the map l)oth the sites of the Indian villages through which he 
passed and the locality of the mounds which he discovered. His 
route was on the borders of the habitat of the cthgy builders. He 
crossed the Fox river some thirty miles west of Chicago and twen- 
ty miles south of the state line where was a grouj:) of thirty mounds. 
He then struck the Rock river near the mouth of the Kishwaukee, 
near the AVinnebago villages which were situated there, and dis- 
covered groups of mounds on the banks of both riyers. He passed 
over the prairies and entered Wisconsin somewhere near the val- 
ley of the Pecatonica and struck the Wisconsin river a little east 
of Prairie du Chien. The first published notice of the mounds on 
the Wisconsin is in the narrative of Long's second expedition. 
They found the bluff which borders on the Wisconsin covered with 


mounds, parapets, etc., Init no plan or system coiikl he observed 
amonji^ them, neither could they trace any such thing- as a rej^^uiar 
enclosure. ^Vmong these works they saw ''•an embankment about 
S5 yards long, divided towards its middle bv a sort of gate\va\- 
about four yards w idc. This parapet was elevated from three to 
four feet. It stood very near to the edge of the bluff as did almost 
all of the embankments which they saw. The moinuls which the 
party obser\'ed \\ ere scattered without anv apparent symmetrv over 
the whole of the ridge of high land which borders upon tiie ri\er. 
They were very numerous, and generallv from six to eight feet high 
and from eight to twelve in diameter. In one case a number of tliem,. 
amounting to twelve or fifteen were seen all ran<red in one line, 
parallel to the edge of the bluff but at some distance from it."* 

Major Long gives the characteristics of the groups situated on 
the lower \\'isconsin, but he did not discover the etiigy shapes in 
the mounds. This disco\ery remained for those who were after- 
wards engaged in the work of sur\eving. It was in 1832 during the- 
survey of the mineral lands, that the shape of effigies in the mounds- 
came into notice. The persons who called attention to them were 
Mr. Richard Taylor and Mr. John Locke, who were then engaged 
on the Survey. ]Mr. Taylor wrote to the Atnerican Jour- 
nal of Science in 1838 and Mr. John Locke made the report to the 
government and his report was published in the Congressional doc- 
uments for the year 1840. Thei^e were mounds on the Wiscon- 
sin river which Mr. .Stephen Taylor, then a resident of the state, 
surveyed and described and his descriptions were published in the 
yoiirnal of Science for i8_).3. These were interesting effigies; 
they represented moose, bear, foxes, deer, frog, eagle, hawks, horn- 
ed owl, man mound, mound in the shape of a woman, otter, pan- 
ther, and a composite mound containing the shape of a bird, the 
horns of a deer, and the bodv of a wild cat, some of them situated 
on the north side of the river on the liluffs, and some of them on 
the south side on the bottom lands not far from tlie old \illage call- 
ed Aluscoda. 

The effiigies which \\ ere described bv these gentlemen were- 
mainly in the south-west part of the state, in the neighborhood 
of the Mineral lands, but did not embrace more than one-tenth 
of the whole iiun-iber. The groups described were near the 
old trail which led from Madison and the Four Lake region to 
the Mississippi, and were n-iainl\- situated on the high ridge which 
constitutes the water-shed between the \\'isconsin ri\er to the 
north and the blanches of the Rock river which flowed to the 
south. The groups were quite interesting and contained effigies 
of bears, foxes, l-)uffalo, and the human form. 

When Squier & Davis wei-e preparing their book on the Anci- 
ent Monuments which the Smithsonian Institution published as 
their first Contribution, thev undertook to give a general ^-iew 
of the mounds and ]3re-historic earth works throughout the- 
Mississippi \alley. They gave three chapters to the Emblem- 
atic mounds and illustrated them b\- several plates. They drew 


from the descriptions and reports of the gentlemen before named 
but abridged the accounts very considerably. Messrs. .Squier & 
Davis also gave a description of the ancient city of Aztalan. This 
celebrated work was discovered by S. H. IJradley and the survey- 
ing parties who ran out the township lines, but no special note had 
been made of it. In the vear 1837 Mi". N. C. Hyer visited the 
place and wrote an interesting description of it for an eastern paper, 
the Gt cc/nL-ich Eaglc^ New York. The account was copied bv 
the Milwaukee Advertiser and made quite a sensation. It is owing 
to Dr. I. A. Lapham's perseverance and energy that the effigy 
mounds of Wisconsin were survcvcd and plotted before thcv were 
clestioyed. He visited nearly all the groups that were then known 
in the state. He secured descriptions from parties who were prac- 
tical surveyors, acd who resided in different parts of the State; 
among them Mr.W. ]M. Canfield of Baraboo, Mr. L. L. Sweet and 
Prof. S. T, Lathrop of Beloit College, Mr. Canfield furnished 
<lescriptions of those near the Wisconsin river. Mr. Sweet fur- 
nishcd an account of those on the ^Milwaukee river, and Professor 
Lathrop those near Beloit on the Rock river. !Mr. Lapham's work 
was conducted under the auspices of the American Antiquarian 
Societv of AV'^orcester, Mass.; but his work was published bv the 
Smithsonian in the fourth Contribution. This is the best work 
which has ever been published, as the mounds which were then in 
an excellent state of preservation were accurately surveyed. His 
■survey extended as far west as the Mississippi river and took in 
manv of the groups situated on the river both north and south of 
the Wisconsin. It extended also as far north as Lake Winnebago 
and the Fox river, and embraced many of the groups situated in 
the valley of that stream. The most thorough exploration was, 
however, in the neighborhood of ^Milwaukee, and the lake-shore, 
and the vallev of the Fox ri\ tr in the south, including the groups 
at \Vankesha and Big Bend. ,The groups at Mayville and Hori- 
con were fortunatelv accurately surveyed and described at that time, 
for thev have been nearly all destroyed since. ^Ir. Lapham did 
not undertake to explain the use of the mounds or even to show 
their connection w ith the totem s\stem which is so common and 
so important a factor in native society. In this respect Mr. R. C. 
Taylor ^^•as quite as forward in furnishing suggestions as Dr. Lap- 
ham. He says that ''they were burial places intended to designate 
the cemeteries of the respective tribes or families. The tribe or 
clan possessing as its characteristic totem or emblem the bear, con- 
structed a burial place in the form of that animal; the clans having 
the panther, eagle, or other animal as their totem conformed to the 
same pi'actice." Mr. Ta\lor says '"the mounds are almost invari- 
ably contiguous to Indian paths, but there is no evidence to show 
that existing tribes ever erected such monuments." This interpre- 
tation b}- Mr. R. C Taylor is worthy of notice. Maj(n- Long and 
^Jonathan Carver, who visited the Indian villages on the Wiscon- 
sin and Mississippi, knew nothing about the totem system. They 
saw the mounds but n])]Dlied their own knowledge of military works 


to them and interpreted them from a militar\ stand point. Neither 
of these gentlemen recognized the animal shape of these earth- 
works. It is due to the surveyors mentioned alcove to sa\- that h\- 
their system of measuring and plotting small pieces of ground the"\ 
were enabled to identify the figures and prove them io be in the 
shape of animals. There is no mistake about the figures. Mr. Lap- 
ham did not always ascribe the rightanimal figures to the eihgies 
as he frequently called panthers li/.ards and birds crosses; but in the 
main was remarkably sagacious in determining the animal intended. 
There was nothing visionary about Di-. La})ham's book. 

Next to this, however, a work appeared in the \ear iS^S \vhich 
was extremely \isionary. It was the book called "i'laditions 
of Decoodah and Antiquarian Researches" In- AVilliam Pidg- 
eon. It purported to be a description of mounds and earth-works 
which the author had discovered, the explanation of which was 
given to him by the last prophet of the Elk nation, called Decoo- 
dah. This book has been quoted extensivelv bv writers upon ar- 
chaeology, and the cuts have been used as correctly repre=;cnting the 
groups of mounds and eifigies. The localities inwhich Mr. Pidg- 
con stated there were extensive groups of emblematic mounds have, 
however, been \isited by various gentlemen who are in the field, 
but so far, not a single group has been identified and it is exceed- 
ingly doubtful whether any of them will be. Mr. T, II. Lewis 
and the author of this book have sought for these grcnips but have 
failed to find them. There are so many marvellous things about 
the book, and such a misty shatlowy way of describing the mounds 
that many have doubted ^vhether any of the descriptions could be 
relied upon, for they are so vague and uncertain. We consider the. 
work as of no value to science. 

The next to follow Mr. Pidgeon was Mr. Jared Warner. He 
discovered the so-called elephant effigy, and furnished a description 
of it to the vSmithsonian Institution, and it was published in the Re- 
port for 1872. The mound was platted bv a practical survevor, 
Mr. J. C. vScott, assisted by Alexander Paul, J. C. Orr, and Mr. 
Warner. We do not doubt the accuracy of this survey and con- 
sider the description as a valuable one. The only question is wheth- 
er the partv did not mistake a slight ridge caused bv the wash of 
the water, for the proboscis of the animal. The ef^lg\-, if diawn 
with this ridge left off, would represent the buffalo as' well as the 

This local survey was followed bv a more general one bv Mr.- 
Moses Strong. Mr. Strong was connected with the Geological sur- 
vey and had good opportunity of studying the effigies, especially 
those in the south-west part of the state. lie discovered a number 
of new groups, situated in Grant county. His papers were publish- 
ed in the .Smithsonian report for 1S75 and '77. In this same year 
Dr. J. N. De Hart surveyed mounds and effigies on the Asylum 
grounds on the north side oi Lake Mendota and his paper was pub- 
lished in the Smithsonian rejiort for 1877. In the year 1879 Mr. 
Thomas Armstrong, of Ripon, Wis., furnished descriptions of the 


mounds on R usli T^ake and those at Green Lake, hut did not par- 
ticuhirl\- identify the aninials which were represented hy the effi- 
jjies. !Mr. W. G. Anderson, of Quincv, IHinois, also furnished de- 
scriptions of effigies of mounds on hike Alendota, one in the shape 
of a bear, another in the shape of a snake with four curves noticeable. 
His accoimt was published in the same Report. Mr. T. H. Lewis 
has also been engaged at inter\als for several years in exploring the 
elfigies on either side of the Mississippi River, from the mouth of 
the Wisconsin northward. lie has made some interesting discov- 
'Ories and has extended the habitat of the effigy builders into eastern 
Iowa, and southern Minnesota. His papers were published by 
Science. The Ethnological Bureau has also, through its assistants, 
done some surveying among the effigy mounds, mainly in Craw- 
ford county. Mr. Norris formerly superintendent of the Yellow- 
stone Park, spent one season in surveying the effigies in Grant antl 
Crawford counties. He was followed by Mr. J. S Middleton and 
Mr. Emmett, who were under the direction of Dr. Cyrus Thomas. 
The writer was privileged to accompany these last named gentle- 
men in a tour of examination and review of the work done and was 
able to identify some interesting efligies and to assign the use or 
object of several of the groups. Among them were several game 
■drives which were situated on the dividing ridge between the Kick- 
apoo and the Mississippi. In these game drives the swallow, 
which is the clan emblem of the region, was accompanied by effi- 
gies of a buffalo in one case, of two bears in another, along with 
a series of parallel walls or long mounds. The situation was such 
as to give the itlea that thev were in the run-ways of these animals, 
and the conclusion reached was tliat these groups marked the place 
where these animals were hunted. In 1SS2 Prof. F. \\'. Putnam, 
and J. C. Kimball, accompanied by the writer took a trip to La 
Crosse and from La Crosse to Baraboo. The trip resulted in the 
discovery of several new groups of effigies. Prof. Putnam found 
an effigv in the Public park in La Crosse and explored it. Mr. J. 
C. Kimball learned of a number of effigies at Trempeleau, north 
of La Crosse. The writer discovered a group of round mounds 
four miles south of Sparta, a large group of round mounds three 
miles north of New Lisbon, and a very interesting group of effi- 
gies within one-half mile of the depot at New Lisbon. The party 
came together again and visited a group at the Dells of the Wis- 
consin, and two t)ther groups near the village of Baraboo. Prof. 
Putnam on the same trip also \isited se\eral of the groups at Mad- 
ison and secured the survev of a group before iniknown, situated 
near the stone quarry two miles west of the city. The writer was 
-assisted in his survey of the mounds at New Lisbon by Rev. A. A. 
Young, a brother of Prof. Young, the astronomer. Mr. Young 
has taken much interest in the mounds ;md has furnished the author 
a complete list of those situated in the neighborhood of New Lis- 
bon, and is still exploring among the mounds of Wisconsin. Prof. 
Putnam read a paper on the effioies which he saw, before the 
Natural History Society of Boston, but published a similar paper 
in the Annual Report of the Peabody Museum. 


Thus \vc have gi\en a description of the various surve}s and ex- 
plorations among the emblematic mounds; commencing with the 
year 1832, which was the date of the I31ack Hawk war, and end- 
ing with the year iSSS, the date of the completion of this book, 
and have mentioned the names of all the surveyors. There are 
several other gentlemen whose names have not been mentioned, 
who have done soiiiething in the way of exploration among the 
effigies; among them Air. Pizarro Cocjk who lives on the Kicka- 
poo river, also Air. A. H. Porter. 

The explorations of the writer commenced in the vear 18S0 
and were continued at intervals until the vcar 1S8S. They 
covered all parts of the state ; they reached as far south as Rockford. 
111., and as far north as Ashland, Lake Superior; they extended 
into Iowa and Minnesota on the west and reached the banks of 
Lake Alichigan on the east. Nearly all the groups described by 
previous authors such as Air. R. C. Taylor, .S. Taylor, Professor 
Locke, Dr. Lapham, Air. Aloses Strong, Dr. J. N. De Hart, Mr. 
Armstrong, Prof. Putnam and the assistants of the Ethnological 
Bureau, were visited by the writer and carefully examined. Be- 
sides these manv groups which had never been described before, 
were visited and surveyed. Discoveries of new groups were made, 
some of them of a very interesting character. These groups were 
situated In various parts of the state, some of them in the south-west 
part on both sides of the Wisconsin, in Grant, Crawford, LaFayette, 
and Richland counties; others in the central-west, in Juneau, La- 
Crosse, Adams, and Alonroe; others in the valley of the Fox river in 
Marquette, Green Lake, and Fond du Lac counties; still others in 
Washington and Dodge Counties. The most interesting discov- 
eries were, however, made at Beloit and Lake Koshkonong in 
Rock county, and on the banks of the Four Lakes near Aladison 
in Dane county, and on the banks of Green Lake and Lake Puck- 
away in Green Lake county. In going into the region which had 
been explored bv Dr. Lapham and others, the writer was not only 
able to identify the groups described but to discover many interest- 
ing groups which had been overlooked. This may be the case 
with those who may follow in the authors steps after this book 
shall have awakened interest enough for such persons to enter into 
the work of exploration, for the author does not claim that he has 
by any means discovered all the effigies. It is not an easy thing to 
search out unknown groups of effigies, especially when there is so 
much ignorance concerning them as exists at the j)resent time. It 
has been a common experience for the author of this book to goon 
to the farm where he knew there were effigies, and to fiml the 
owner ignorant of their existence, and at times even slow to under- 
stand \vhat was meant by mounds, especially effigy mounds. This 
was the case more especially with the Germans who were quite 
sure to call a mound a mountain. The writer has spent many 
delightful hours exploring effigies and mainly gives the results of 
of his observation and experience. Long residence in the state had 
t*ecurcd acquaintance with citizens and familiarity with most of the 


localities. This of course Avas an advantage which Avoukl not be en- 
joyed by everyone; still there is a charm about the effigies which 
can not fail to interest any one who enters upon the studv of them. 
Their situation on the banks of the beautiful lakes, of itself makes 
them attracti\e. The beauty of the scenery pleases the eye, the 
lovely climate invigorates the system and the hospitalitv of the 
people furnishes physical comfort and the study of the effigies gives 
exercise to all the mental faculties. One will find his whole na- 
tiu'e aroused by such a pursuit. As lie hastens from effigv to ef- 
figv, he is charmed with each particular figure and becomes more 
fascinated as he continues. The animals have disappeared but the 
effigies of them are present. One finds himself living in the midst of 
wild animals and can easilv imagine how the countrv "was filled with 
them before civilization drove them off. Thev are reminders of a race 
that has passed awav — the records of a pre-historic age. The preser- 
vation of the monuments is cxceedin<j-lv desirable. I'liture "fcner- 
ations will be thankful to the present if these mounds can be left 
intact. The time will come Avhen visitoi^s and pleasure seekers 
wdll be more curious about the mounds wdiich represent the ani- 
mals, than they are about the animals themselves. Hunters and 
sportsmen frequent these lakes for the purpose of shooting wild- 
fowl which are still found in the waters, but the birds and animals 
which were formerly here have passed awav and liecome extinct. 
It will be a pleasure to the visitors in the future to lecognize the 
forms of these creatures and to find themselves in the midst of their 
haunts. An extinct race as well as extinct animals are brought 
before us In' these pictures. The history is carried back by them 
so that we reach not oidy the prehistoric times, but we become 
familiar with the natural scenes which prevaded even before man 
appeared upon the scene. They are like the fossils which are pre- 
served in the rocks. A volume of Natural History is contained in 
them. Wc make our appeal to the public for the preservation of 
these interesting monuments of the past. 


Tndiaa SrtWt 










A paper read before the American Association Jor the advancement of Science, at 
^ Minneapolis, August 22, iSS j. 

The Emblematic Mounds of Wisconsin have long engaged 
attention but are not yet fully understood. So many have 
looked upon them as mere objects of curiosity without giving 
any cl'^se study to them that an amazing amount of ignorance 
concerning them prevails among the residents in the very state 
where they are found. 

It has even been doubted by some whether there were any 
such works as have been described under the name of effigy or 
emblematic mounds. The mounds exist in great numbers in the 
state, and in many places form conspicuous objects in the land- 
scape. They abound especially on the borders of the many beau- 
tiful lakes of Wisconsin, and therefore may be seen and studied 
by citizens and visitors from a distance They should be regarded 
as adding to the attractions of these places of resort, and be 
classified with other curious and interesting monuments of the 
world. At present they fail to secure attention, or if noticed are 
regarded as without significance and hardly worthy of a second 
thought. One reason for this is, that an opinion has arisen that 
the significance of these effigies cannot be ascertained; that an 
inscrutable mystery hangs over these silent monuments, and 
that nothing can be ascertained concerning them or their 
builders. This opinion has been strengthened by persons from 
whom different things would be expected. Intelligent writers 
and historians have maintained that there could be no solution 
of the problem, no breaking of the spell which holds them, and 
that it is folly to undertake to interpret the meaning of the em- 
blems or to give any significance to the effigies. This position 
seems strange, especially where maintained by those who are in 
the habit of investigating closely and of grappling with hard 
problems. It has the effect, however, to strengthen the popular 
prejudice and to hinder investigation. The author has had 
opportunity for many years of studying these works, and has 



become so familiar witli them as to know many things about 
them which are unknowai to others, and therefore writes confi- 
dently concerning them. 

The object of the present essay is not to maintain any theory 
concerning the object or the use of the mounds, or the signifi- 
cance of the effigies, but merely to portray and to describe the 
distinctive points. In the essays already published the situation 
of these mounds has been described, and certain peculiarities of 
them mentioned. They are, for the most part, situated on high 
points of land, where extensive outlooks are gained, and are 
often found in groups clustered close together. These circum- 
stances have led the author to the opinion that some of them 
might have been used for burial places, the effigies represent- 
ing the tribal totems or the private totemiS of the chiefs and 
prominent persons found in the mounds. The names of the 
persons buried might not be given in words, but could be given 
in a picture. Thus the mounds or the effigies of the mounds 
should be considered a kind of picture writing or hieroglyphics 
corresponding among these primitive races to the hieroglyphics 
inscribed on the monuments of the more cultivated races of the 
east. The private totems would in that case be the more prim- 
itive form of hieroglyphs, and these mounds be said to contain in 
their shapes this, the most primitive form of picture-writing. It 
is certainly true that the tribal totems were significant of names, 
the system of clans or gentes being shown by these totems and 
the names of the gentes expressed in them. It is possible that the 
same system prevailed among the Emblematic Mound-builders, 
and that instead of being portrayed on the tents, the totems 
were built into the soil and made expressive of the names 
of the clans or gentes resident in the different places. The au- 
thor has also maintained that some of the mounds were designed 
for military defenses, and that they were erected on prominent 
places so that they might serve as signal stations or outlooks. 

The opinion has also been expressed by the writer that cer- 
tain groups of emblematic mounds were used for game-drives. 
Some of the mounds in these groups, especially the long taper- 
ing mounds which are often seen situated parallel to one another, 
were constructed as screens, behind which hunters might hide 
and where they might shoot into the game as it was driven 

Still another object or use has been ascribed by the author, to 
the emblematic mounds. Certain mounds have been discovered 
situated around open places where every appearance indicated 
that there were ancient villages situated in them. It is believed 
that the mounds were constructed around the villages so as to 
form a sort of defense to them, the effigies serving a double pur- 
pose, making an imperfect wall and at the same time acting as a 
sort of protection or charm to the village, very much as the 


totem posts found upon tlie northwest coast serve as a protec- 
tion to the houses and villages there. 

Leaving these points wc proceed to a description of the emble- 
matic mounds, taking as the especial object of study the animal 
effigies in their different shapes and attitudes. The present pa- 
per will be confined to one class. Future papers may describe 
other classes. The object set before us is to describe that class 
of effigies which represents land animals, especially the grazing 
animals, their shapes and attitudes and other peculiarities as 
four footed creatures. It has been found that the variety of at- 
titudes expressed by the effigies is so great that only one class 
of animals can be considered, if these attitudes are to be given 
at all in detail or described with any satisfaction. 

It is a singular fact that the Mound-builders divided the ani- 
mals according to a strictly scientific system. We do not main- 
tain that they understood science or were acquainte with the 
genera or species. It has been disputed whether the primitive 
mind was capable of these generic distinctions. Yet the fact 
that these divisions of the animal kingdom are strictly adhered 
to in the representations of the animals, shows that the Mound- 
builders were acquainted with them. They were true natural- 
ist'^ ; they understood the habits of the animals, could delineate 
their peculiarities of forms, and knew the difference between the 
different species even better than we do. They were artists, also, 
but they were artists who were true to nature, for they under- 
.stood and could delineate not only the attitudes and shapes of 
the animals, but they understood the significance of each atti- 
tude and could present in the effigies the very disposition or in- 
tent which the animals would express in the different attitudes. 
It seems sometimes marvelous that these people should so de- 
lineate the different class of animals and portray the individual 
species, and then give to each kind of animal so ma.ny different 
attitudes. Their way of delineating the shapes and attitudes 
was also singular. They depicted them as they saw them, and 
represented them, not as lying upon the ground, but standing or 
moving. The mounds are erected above the surface and the 
effigy is horizontal, the eye looking down upon it, but the ani- 
mals are represented in the life-like attitudes. What is singular 
about them is that the different classes or orders of animals are 
represented in different ways ; the land animals in one way, the 
water animals in another, and the birds in still another, showing 
that the builders had an acquaintance with these different classes. 
This method of representation is so uniform as to convince one 
that it was intended. By their shapes the different classes of 
animals may be ascertained or recognized, and by the attitudes 
the different dispositions of the animal can be learned and their 
hidden significance also apprehended. 

In the former paper prepared on the animal mounds, the au- 


thor divided the effigies into four classes, namely quadrupeds, 
birds, fishes and inanimate objects. Further study of the effigies, 
however, has revealed the fact that the mound builders divided 
the animals more correctly than this; they divided them according 
to their habits, as follows: Land animals, amphibious creatures, 
birds and fishes. They had a very singular way of designating 
these classes by the effigies. The study of the effigies has led 
therefore to the following classification; a classification in which 
the various orders of animals are made to correspond with the 
shapes of the mounds, the habits and character of the animals 
beino- portrayed by the effigies, the representations being so 
uniform as to give rise to the idea that the classification of 
the animals was intended. 

I. Landanimah. These are quadrupeds, but they are always 
represented in profile, two legs only being visible with the other 
parts of the body brought into relief by the mound. The atti- 
tudes are expressed by the different shapes of the mounds, but 
the profile view is distinctive of the class. 

II. The amphibious animals. These are represented as 
sprawling or as seen from above, with four legs visible, the 
shape of the back and different parts of the creature also brought 
into relief, but the legs always on two sides of the effigy. 

III. Birds or aeatires of the air. These are represented in 
different ways, with their wings sometimes extended and some- 
times folded, but always visible and made distinctive of the class. 
The attitudes of the birds are varied, and are always expressive. 

IV. FisJies and ivater animals, Represented without legs or 
wings, and with fins very rarely visible, but the body, head and 
tail brought into relief, and the attitudes of the creatures depicted 
bv the various shapes of the mounds. 

'v. Inanimate objects. The author is not sure whether these 
mounds furnish any conventional forms or whether any signifi- 
cance should be asctibed to the effigies of this class, but would 
refer the reader to the article published by the Wisconsin State 
Historical Society for a view of the variety of objects embraced 
under this class. 

It is remarkable that the habits of the animal should be shown 
by the effigies, but such is the case. The land animals are all 
of them represented in such a way that there need be no mistak- 
ing them. The different kinds of land animals are also given, 
such as the grazing, the fur-bearing and the beasts of prey. 
Each class is distinguished in a different way, but all of them 
are marked by the same peculiarity of being in profile. The 
amphibious creatures are also represented in all their variety, 
and the distinction between them and the land animals is plainly 


The birds or animals which inhabit the air are represented m 


such shapes as to be easily distinguished, and there is no diffi- 
culty in placing all the specimens under the third class. 

The water animals, such as fish, craw-fish, tad-poles, etc., arc 
represented without legs, or fins, and so can be easily 
classified under the fourth head, their shapes being always dis- 
tinctive. The inanimate objects, such as badges, weapons, sym- 
bols, etc., unless studied closely, might be mistaken for animals 
or birds, and have been so mistaken by authors who have 
treated upon the subject, but after all may be easily distinguished 
if we will only notice the distinctive points." 

We propose to give under these different heads the different 
varieties of creatures, which are portrayed by the effigies mak- 
ing subdivisions under the different classes. In this paper we 
shall consider only the first class, namely, the land animals. 
They may be separated into several subdivisions and made to 
represent the animals according to their habits and other char- 
acteristics, as follows: (i.) Animals with horns, including all 
the grazing animals, such as the buffalo, moose, elk, deer, etc. 
(2.) Animals with tails, including the fur bearing land animals, 
such as the fox, wolf, squirrel, panther, and excluding the am- 
phibious fur bearing animals, such as the otter, the beaver, the 
muskrat and other creatures of the kind. (3.) Animals repre- 
sented as without horns and without tails. These animals are 
mainly beasts of prey, such as the wildcat, the lynx, though at 
times the rabbit and prairie dog and other creatures of the kind 
may be represented. 

A great variety of the effigies of the land animals are 
found. This variety is owing not only to the different animals 
which are represented, but to the attitudes of the animals as well 
as to their shapes. Dividing them then according to the shapes 
and attitudes we find several classes. 

I. Four-footed animals, with horns, their horns being repre- 
sented by projections above the head. Fig. i represents an effi- 
gy of his class. It is presumably a 
moose. The mound which has this 
shape, is situated near the village of 
Muscoda, on the Wisconsin river. It 
\\as first discovered by Mr. S. Tay- 
lor, lie says : " Throughout this 
region embankments of this form are 

Fig.l. Moose, near Muscoda. Taylor. VCry UUmcrOUS. SomC have tWO 

parallel projections from the back of the head. In the present 
they seem to be so blended as to represent but one. It is very 
perfect in outline, 79 feet long and 24 broad." 

Another effigy of a horned animal is given in Fig. 2. It is 

*See Lapham's Antiquities, also article in tlie Slate Historical Report, Vol. IX, 


evidently a moose. The moose is in the attitude of grazing. 
The animals are represented in attitudes which correspond to 

Fig. 2. A Moose grazing. I. A. Lapham . 

their habits. Horned animals are, as a general, thing grazing in 
their habits. The moose is thus represented. The long, 
straight mounds adjoining probably represent a game-drive and 
the effigy may have been intended to represent the kind of game 
for which the drive was erected. 

This group of mounds is situated on Honey Creek. It is de- 
scribed by Dr. Lapham in his Antiquities, but was plotted and 
surveyed by Mr. Canfield, of Baraboo.''^' 

There are many other horned animals represented in effigy, 
the Buffalo being the most common. One such effigy was once 
visited by the author in company with several others near Be- 
loit. This effigy is also situated near what the author considers 
to have been a game-drive. The outlines of the animal are very 
distmct and the effigy is a striking one. Mounds representing 
the buffalo have been described by Dr. L A. Lapham, by Moses 
Strong and several others. Mr. Strong represents a row of 
buffaloes as in procession, following one another around 
the edge of a high bluff. He says: "From their appear- 
ance on the ground, no resemblance to any particular animal 
could be detected," but from the diagram given one could 
easily recognize the animal. Another group is also described 
by Dr. Lapham, and the effigies in the group are portrayed. 
Several of the figures in this are evidently the effigies of buf- 
falos. The location of these mounds is near the mouth of the 
Wisconsin River, on land adjoining the residence of Hon. Robt. 

The buffalo so nearly resembles the elk and moose that it is 
difficult to distinguish it, but generally the attitude and the gen- 
eral shape will be so given by the effigy as to show what ani- 
mal was intended. It is remarkable that effigies of buffaloes, 
moose and elk are more frequently associated with game-drives 
than any other animal. 

* See I^apham's Antiquities, Page 70; also Plate 47. 


The £/k is also represented in effigy. 
Two such effigies are described by Dr. 
Lapham in Plate 43, which represents a 
large group of mounds near Honey Creek, 
on section 18, township line range 6, east. 
The effigies in this case are also associated 
with a number of long mounds, which may 
have been intended to represent a game- 
drive. The group was situated near the 
residence of Mr. Mosely, close by the 
mouth of Honey Creek. These effigies 
are now nearly obliterated. Several effigies 
representing horned animals are also de- 
scribed by Dr. Lapham as situated near 
the Kickapoo river, section 6, town 8, range 
5, west. A cut of these effigies is given 
herewith, and we leave it for the reader to 
decide whether they represent the buffalo 
or the elk. (See Fig. 3.) 

The Dcrr is another animal which has 
been represented in effigy ; but in a great 
varijty of attitudes. A deer may be seen 
on the ground near the insane 
asylum at Madison. It has been 
engraved, and a wood cut is 
herewith presented(Fig. 4.) The ^ 
engraving is, however, defective. 
There is in the mound no such 
division in the legs or horns. 
The effigy is also much smaller 
than would be gatherea from 
the figures. It is in fact smaller 
than that of an eagle near bv 
it. We however furnish the 
cut to show how much need 
there is of care in engraving 
the effigies. This representa- 
tion was made by Dr. Wm. 
DeHart. We doubt, however, 
whether - ny effigy intended to 
represent a deer ever had the 
horns separate as this has. A 
cut is furnished which more 
truthfully represents the shape 
of the mound if it does not the 
shape of the animal (Fig. 5). It 
was first represented by Mr. S. 





Fig. 3. Buffalo on Kickapoo River 


Taylor. He says: "It 
seems to have been 
intended to repre- 
sent some fleet ani- 
mal. It is about 
lOO feet in length, 
1 8 feet in height.* 
This also was situ- 
ated near Muscoda, 
in Grant county. 

The effigy of a 
deer has been dis- 
covered by the 
writer, near Mus- 
coda, on. theWiscon- 
sin river. It is one 
of a large group of J'is- ^• 

mounds which has never been described. The deer was in a 
very striking attitude. Its head was erect with the neck curved 
back. Its legs were drawn up and the ^ 

whole attitude expressed alarm. It was WMmmMmm'' 
situated among a series of long parallel ^^^^^^^H 

mounds which may have been intend- 
ed as a game drive. The group is ^ #^ 
worthy of further study. Another 
figure resembling the antelope was ^'^•■'■ 
found by Dr. Lapham, near Horicon. 

Associated with the last group is an animal which appears to 
have "a short tail and horns, and is probably designed to rep- 
resent some kind of deer." Judging from the diagram the effigy 
was that of an antelope. 

We give here several cuts which represent horned animals. 
They are not representations of effigy mounds, but rather of 
inscribed figures. They are taken from the series of inscriptions 
seen on the walls of the pictured cave at West Salem. They are 
given for the sake of comparison. It will be noticed that in the 
picture cave the inscriptions are drawn widi the outlines of the 
animals only, and no relief such as the mounds give. They are, 
however, given with the separate divisions oi the legs and horns, 
and even the branches of the horns. They are not as symmet- 
rical and do not represent the attitudes of the animal as well as 
the mounds do. It is more difficult to recognize the animal 
intended than it is by the effigy mounds. The animals are rep- 
resented with legs at one side the same as they are in the 
mounds, but there is no uniformity. In one case the hoofs are 
pictured and only two legs are visible, but the horns are separ- 

* .See .Smithsonian Contributions, Vol. I, Plate XLIII, No. 6, Page 130. 


Fig 6. Inscription of a Buffalo from Picture cave, West Salem 

The next figure represents an 
animal with two horns, the le^s 
separate; no hoofs; the eye vis- ^ 
ible and a bushy tail and a slight^ 
hump above the shoulder. This 
also is so awkwardly given that 
we cannot identify it. It may 
have been a female buffalo, and 
judging from the horns wg 
should say that it was. 

ate; the mouth is open 
and the heavy body 
is portrayed. The 
hump on the shoul- 
der and the fold below 
the jaw are also gi\-en 
as if all the promi- 
nent features were 
represented, and yet 
it is difficult to say 
whether it is a buf- 
alo or moose, except 
as the horns indicate 

Fig. T. Insci'iption of Female Buffalo. 

The next figure repre- 
sents an animal with 
branching horns. The 
legs, however, are repre- 
sented differently, fore 
legs with a single line, 
hind legs with a double. 
Judging from the branch- 
ing horns, the small head 
and the large rump, we 
jTj^ 8_ should say it was a deer, 

and yet the difference be- 
tween the deer and the moose and the elk is givenmore plainly 
and distinctly by the effigy and the mounds than by the inscribed 

2. Among the effigies which represent animals in profile we 
find a large class which appear with no projections above the 
head to represent horns, but with projections at one side to 
represent legs and with prominent projections behind to repre- 
sent tails, making this part of the animal distinctive. This 
class represents a greater variety than any other. It is a very 
interesting class. The attitudes of the animals are very striking 




and the shapes throughout very expressive. The effigies gener- 
ally represent the fur-bearing animals and are true to life. It 
will be found by study that the fur-bearing animals have heavier 
tails than any other class. These effigies do not include all fur- 
bearing anim.als for there are a few animals of this class as the 
wild-cat, lynx and rabbit, which although fur-bearing, do not 
have tails. The tail is distinctive between the two classes. 

The shapes of the effigies of this class, so skillfully imitate na- 
ture as to show great familiarity with the habits of the animals. 
We begin this series with an effigy which is very 
numerous and very prominent, but concerning 
which there may be some difference in opinion as 
to what animal is signified. We designate it as 
the Q^gy of the panther or mountain lion. We 
give a cut of this Q^gy copied 
from the figures described by Dr. 
Lapham. The group may be 
seen on the banks of Ripley 
Lake. Two of the animals ap- 
§. pear as if they were in conflict, 
■ while the other has its head 
toward the bank overlooking 
the waters. A similar group 
was seen by the writer on the 
banks of Green Lake. The only 
II difference was that the pair in 
conflict were here situated at 
right angles with the bank of 
the lake, and the passage way 
between them formed an en- 
trance to a campus or open 
plat of ground around which 
were many other effigies. An- 
other group, similar to this, may 
be seen on the bank of Turtle 
Creek, near Beloit, on land now 
crossed by the Mil. & St. Paul 
R. R. Here also the animals 
are in conflict, but they are ar- 
ranged feet to feet, as panthers 
and all creatures ot the cat-kind 
are likely to fight. A passage 
way between them also opens 
into a large group of effigies. 
Another effigy is found on the 
edge of this group, forming, as 
is the case at Ripley Lake, a 
third panther, but with the tail 

Fig. 9. Wolf or pautlicr at Ripley Lake. 



Straight, and fronting the group, instead of being parallell to it, 
as here represented. 

Another cut is given here to show what various attitudes and 
shapes this effigy assumes. (Fig. lo.) It is an effigy which has 
been called by Dr. Lapham a " battle axe," but was evidently in- 
tended to represent a mountain lion or panther or some such 
animal. It is situated on the banks of Lake Koshkonong in a 
group which surrounds a lofty conical mound, and a so-called 
altar mound. Th? conical mound was evidently used as a bea- 
con or place for lighting fires, and the mound accompanying it 
may have been used as a sacrificial altar. The effigy corres- 
ponding to the panther on the opposite side is that of a catfish 
or bull pout. The attitudes of these two effigies are very ex- 
pressive and will be noticed. 






;i;iiii)| I I 


! II 


Mountain Lion and Catfish at Lake KosLkono-'g 

There are two of these panther mounds on the bank of Lake 
Monona, nearly opposite the capitol, about a mile south of the 


city ot Madison. They are situated in a prominent place over- 
looking the lake, but they differ from the pairs of panthers be- 
fore described, in that the heads are turned inward and the feet 
outward, the animals apparently following one another instead 
of being in conflict. Another effigy of the same kind may 
be seen on the side of a ridge between Lake Wingra and Lake 
Monona, half a mile south of the depot. Two more have been 
seen and plotted by the writer on land adjoining to the south of 
Gov. Washburn's place, now the Catholic Asylum for the Sisters 
of Charity. One of these effigies is in a very striking attitude, 
the animal being represented as crouching. The legs are drawn 
up, the form stretched out, the head erect, and the whole effigy 
representing the animal (evidently a panther) as resting. We 
can almost see the tongue lolling and imagine how the animal 
looked while panting and basking in the sun. . 

The effigy is situated on the banks of a lake near a marsh, but 
stretched out on a gentle slope where the sun would fall unim- 
peded by any forest. Several other effigies of this kind have 
been seen by the writer on the summit of a hill near the ceme- 
tery, at Madison. A long line of straight oblong mounds inter- 
spersed with effigies of various kinds stretch from the cemetery 
southward. They are situated in a dense forest of wood with a 
great deal of undergrowth which renders them difficult of access, 
but they form a very interesting group of mounds. Another 
effigy of this kind was visited by the writer during the last 
summer (1883), in company with Rev. A. A. Young, near New 
Lisbon. This effigy represented the panther in a striking atti- 
tude, but very different from that found anywhere else. It is 
situated on the banks of a small stream near a group of other 
mounds, and near a place which has long been frequented by 
the Indians as a dance ground or place of festivity. 

The animal is pictured as leaping along the edge of the 
stream towards the group of mounds. It seemed to the writer 
when examining the mounds at this locality, that a part of the 
group was intended as a trap for game and that the animal is 
represented as leaping toward the trap eager to secure his prey. 
Other effigies of the same kind have been seen on the edge of a 
swamp and near the site of an ancient village at Great Bend, on 
the Fox river. This is a very interesting group of mounds, the 
village being situated on a prominent tongue of land with vari- 
ous effigies surrounding, but one of the effigies a panther, stand- 
ing and looking into or through an opening or guarded way into 
the very site of the village itself The shape of this effigy is 
peculiar. The body is attenuated as if the animal was suffering 
from hunger, nearly starved, the legs large in proportion, the 
tail long and straight, the head erect, but the whole form as if in 
the attitude of waiting and watching. 


A mound similar to this in some respects, differing from it in 
having a heavier body, at least not so lean, b'lt resembling it in 
the attitude of watching, was seen on the opposite side of the 
stream or marsh, about a half a mile from the village site, and 
near a large cluster of caches. The caches were situated 
on the banks of the swamp, hidden away from observation in 
the midst of a forest, and close by them, apparently guarding 
them, was this panther effigy. This is not the only place where 
the panther is seen guarding the caches, for Dr. Lapham has 
described such an effigy as situated in the midst of an ancient 
cornfield near the city of Milwaukee. A large mound is nnme- 
diately in front of the animal and the cache is in the mound. 
This effigy Avas formerly situated on a part of the city known as 
Sherman's addition. " It may be considered," Dr. Lapham 
says, " as a rude representation of a wolf, or a fox, guarding 
the sacred deposit in the large though low mound immediately 
before it. The body of the animal is 44 feet, the tail 63 feet in 
length." We can imagine the effigy to be that of a she-wolf. 
"' One of the most striking effigies of this class is represented 
by Dr. Lapham as situated five miles south of Burlington, on 
section 26, township 2, range 19. " It is a solitary mound, with 
a curved tail and large at the extremity. It is situated on a 
gently sloping hillside and the road passes directly over it. It 
is a very unusual circumstance to find such a mound," Dr. 
Lapham says, " disconnected from other works but we could 
not learn that any others existed in the vicinity. "f 

A very interesting group of mounds among which are several 
effigies of panthers may still be seen in a good state of preserv^a- 
tion on land formerly belonging to Mr. Isaac Bailey, twelve 
miles north of Burlington, and three miles west of Great Bend. 
This is the place called CrawTordville by Dr. Lapham, though 
there is no village there and never was. The place was also 
mentioned by Mr. R. C. Taylor as one described by the papers 
as containing a group of mounds resembling lizards, alligators 
and flying dragons. 

These effigies occupy ground near the Fox River, which 
slopes gently toward the river at the north, their heads pointing 
vip hill toward the south or southwest, their bodies and tails be- 
ing all parallel with one another. The group covers a surface 
nearly half a mile in length and is crowded thick with effigies 
of various kinds. One of the panther effigies in the group is de- 
scribed by Dr. Lapham under the name of a lizard, it is 286 
feet in length, about 30 feet in width, and varies from two to six 
feet in height. The group has been visited by the writer, and 
Dr. Lapham's description proves to be correct with the e.xcep- 

* See Lapham's Antiquities, page 17, also Plate IV, Fig. I. 
See Lapham's Antiquities, page 24, also Plate XIII, No. i. 



tion that two effigies are left out from the plate, one of them the 
effigy of a panther and the other of a turtle. Dr. Lapham 
has also described an effigy of this kind as situated near Wau- 
kesha on a height of ground a little east of the village. It was 
one of the best or most perfect effigies discovered by that author 
and is well represented on the plate, but no description of it is 
given. We have dwelt thus closely upon this effigy because it 
is a very important one. " • 

There are oth- 

^^^ er effigies which 
sw^-SbS belone to this 

^S\^;^ class b e s ides 
^M^" those of the pan- 
ther, and we now 
proceed to de- 
scribe the effigy 
of the Fox. 

We give a cut 
of two mounds 
which probably 
represent foxes. 
These mounds 
were surveyed 
^^by Mr. Taylor 
%^and Prof Locke. 
They lie on the 
borders of a prai- 
rie in a wood- 
land on the edge of a gentle stope. A short distance to the west 
of them is a natural swell of ground with a tumulus on the top 
of it overlooking it. An old Indian trail passes between them 
and the military road followed the same line. Mr. Taylor sug- 
gests that the figures were intended to represent the fox, but 
Prof. Locke remarks " that they have an expression of agility 
and fleetness and may have been intended to represent the con- 
gar or American tiger, an animal still existing in the region." 

The fox is distinguished by its head. In this case, however, 
the figure has too large a h^ad for the fox, and so we are uncer- 
tain whether it is a fox or a wolf which is represented. The 
wolf is generally exhibited by the ethgies in a conventional 
shape, with the head straight out, as may be seen in Fig. 15, 
No. 20. There are, however, different kinds of wolves, and it 
is possible that this effigy in Fig. 1 1 was designed for one kind 
and that in Fig. 15 another. The fox is unmistakable in Fig. 14. 
We give P'ig. 1 1 because these mounds are quite marked, and 
the effigy may have been intended for that of the fox. 

' "»57'•^^=iiUVvy'X'|^=ft'■IViVVl«=t1iV'\^v•^' *^ 
Fig. 11. Fox effigies ten miles west of Madison. R. C. Taylor. 



A large group of 
mounds containing one 
effigy of the fox (No. 4) 
and another figure or 
effigy of doubtful sig- 
nificance (No. 3) may be 
seen in the vicinity of 
Lake Wingra in that 
part of the city of Mad- 
ison called Greenbush. 
1 he group contains: man 
m mound, i; an eagle, 2; 

v^l. <^^^^^^il^ "'"-"Jiiu, 1, an eagie, 2; 

^^M§ ^^^^^^ a \vild goose, 5; a kmg 
^^" "" ^*' bird, 6; and two straight 

mounds, 7 and 8. The 
attitudes of all these 
creatures are very strik- 
ing, especially that of 
the wild goose, chased 
apparently by the king 
bird. The attitude of 
the fox is also expres- 
sive. It is situated on 
the slope of ground ap- 
parently crawling up 
the hill in a stealthy 
manner and as seen on 
the surface of theground 
is a striking effigy. An- 
other figure of the fox is 
given in the cut. Fig. 13. 
It was described by Ste- 
phen Taylor in Silliman's 

Fig. 13. Mounds at Lake Wingra. S. D. Peet. 



Journal. It was situated on the Wiscon- 
sin river. A series of mounds, fifteen in 
number, extend along an eminence three 
hundred yards and placed at intervals of 
about twenty five feet apart. It is the 
same in which the effigy of a woman was 

Several effigies resembling the fox are described by Dr. Lap- 
ham, as having been seen at Lake Horicon. Others arc de- 
scribed by the same author as having existed at Mayville. 
These are represented in figure 14. 

'T-i r i. j-i J r ii Fig. 13. Fox on Wisconsin River. 

The fox was at the end of the " see. 35, t. 9r. 1 w. 









Fig. 14. 

Another fox 
was also sur- 
vey ed by 
Prof. Locke. 
It was situ- 
ated about 
ten miles east 

of the Blue Mounds, amid a group of other mounds of other 

The Prairie zvolf. The effigy which is most frequently repre- 
sented in profile is one which is somewhat difficult to identify. 
We have named it the prairie wolf to distinguish it from the 
panther. It resembles the panther in many respects, but in no 
case is represented with the head erect as that animal is. 

Two specimens of the wolf effigy may be seen in Fig. 15, 
Nos. 20-21. This group is situated not far from the group de- 
scribed hi Fig. 8, on the same height of ground, near lake Kosh- 
konong. The other figures are effigies of a turtle, No. 17, of 
birds, Nos. 22 — 23, of oblong mounds, Nos. 18 — 19 — 24 — 25, of 
a badge or some unknown object. No. 16, and of an enclosure, 
Nos. 26 and 28. There is a resemblance between this effigy No. 
20, Fig. 15, and that given in No. 3, Fig. 10. The effigy here 
is not so large or straight, but resembles it in other respects, 
This group of mounds, with the enclosure, has already been de- 
scribed by the author. f 

Another locality where the wolf effigy may be seen is at Hor- 
icon on the Rock River. This group has been described by 
Dr. Lapham. We quote his words.! 

" The mounds are situated on the high banks of the river on 
both sides. There are about two hundred ordinary round 

mounds in the neighborhood. 


* See Squier and Davis Smithsonian Contributions Vol. I, pp. 130, Plate XLIII. 
No. 9. See Silliman's Journal, Plate 7, No. 4, 1883. 

t See report of State Historical Society, Vol. 9. 

\ See Antiquities. Plate XXXVII; also page 55. 

animal: effigies. 


Fig. 15.. 


" There are sixteen mounds of the cruciform variety. They are 
not placed in any uniform direction, some having the head 
toward the north, some toward the south. There are two com- 
posite figures, one on each side of the river near the centre of the 
group. If these are animals performing the same action, it is 
difficult to decide what the animal or the action may be which 
was intended. Yet it can hardly be supposed that these works 
could be erected without design. ' The animal form No. 3,' (re- 
ferring to the fox) is repeated with slight modifications seven 
times. It may be intended to represent the Otter. The cele- 
brated Sauk chief, Black Hawk, formerly had his residence at 
this point." 

Dr. Lapham seems to have mistaken the effigies calling the 
birds crosses and the foxes otters, but we quote his words as 
he plotted and described the two works. The locality is an in- 
teresting one, as the proximity to the lake made it a favorite 
resort to the nativ^es through many generations. 

It will be noticed that there are on the two cuts five or six of 
those bird-figures called crosses; that the figures called foxes may 
have been intended to represent the fox, the weasel, the otter 
and the mink, as each effigy is different from the other. The fig- 
ure with the long, straight tail may have been intended to repre- 
sent the squirrel, and the effigy of the wolf is on figure 16, at 
the upper part. We give the two cuts, however, to show the 
variety which may always be noticed in the effigies. 

Other specimens of the wolf effigy may be seen in good 
preservation. Three of them are still visible on the college 
grounds at Waukesha. They have been described by Dr. Lap- 
ham, but have been recently visited by the author.* Severai 
others were formerly visible at Milwaukee, but these have been 
destroyed by the growth of the city. Two in the first ward ; 
five in the second ward ; three more on the school section, not 
far from Milwaukee. Several effigies of the wolf were also 
visible near Sheboygan. Mayville is a locality where effigies 
of this kind were formerly prevalent. 

The Otter, Squirrel, Skunk, Weasel, Miiik, Beaver, Raccoon, 
WoodcJiuck are four-footed creatures, which are sometimes seen 
in effigy. They are not so numerous or so marked, but their 
peculiar shapes may be traced amid the other effigies and their 
peculiarities may be seen. All of them, however, have the dis- 
tinguishing features which mark all the animals of this class, 
namely, a long tail attached to a small body, on which two legs 
only are visible, and they on one side of the body. They arc 
distinguished from one another by the shape of the body. The 
position of the tail at times also indicates the animal intended. If 

* See plates XVIII, XXI, Lapham's Antiquities. 



rig. 16. ffig- !"• 



one will examine the cuts last given he will see that some of the 
animals have the tail drooping-, the body long and slim, and the 
head raised. This may be a fox, but the same figure, when the 
body is heavy, especially in the hind quarters, and the neck and 
head are small, would better represent the otter. (3ccasionally 
effigies are seen where the body is very long and slim, the head 
and neck slim, but raised, and the tail dragging. Such an effigy 
we take to be the weasel. Another effigy in this group may be 
taken for the raccoon or woodchuck, the shape of the effigies 

being marked by the round or rolling po- 
sition of the body, without any head visible. 
Several such effigies may be seen in the 
foregoing cuts (Figs. 16-17). Differing from 

N>^ V_ ^ ^^^^^ ^^ ^^^^ effigy of ^^^^ squirrel. It is 

marked by having the tail erect. A small 

""""^"^ n ^,^1- jg given which contains tlie figures of 

Fig. 18. these three animals, the otter, coon and 

the squirrel (Fig. 18). 

We call attention to the peculiarities of each one of these as 
they may help to distinguish the effigies, and enable us to iden- 
tify the animals by the effigies. They have not been sufficiently 
studied by other parties so that their shapes indicate the animals 
intended. The writer, however, has traced them so often as to 
be able to distinguish them. The headless animals may be 
taken to either represent either woodchucks, coons or animals 
of this kind, and they are l"> 1-=^ distinguished one from another 
by the body being straight or rounded, while the animals with 
long necks and small heads may be considered as otters, weasels, 
foxes and wolves, and these are to be distinguished from one 
another by the shape of the body, whether short or thick or 
long and slim. Two animals can be distinguished by the posi- 
tion of their tail. The squirrel generally has its tail raised. It 
is sometimes straight, sometimes crooked at the end again is 
seen lifted above the head. The skunk, on the contrary, has a 
short tail curled upward, a small head, and resembles the dog, 
The effigy might be taken for that of a dog. 

With these remarks upon the distinguishing feature of the differ- 
ent animals we proceed to show where the different animals have 
been seen. 

T/ie Squirrel. Dr. Lapham has given the effigies of the squir- 
rel in several positions as seen in different places. At Sheboy- 
gan two squirrels are depicted among a group of effigies among 
which the coon and woodchuck are also seen.* 

A squirrel was seen by him near Jefferson associated with one 
of these headless animals, possibly a coon.f Another is de- 
scribed at Pike Lake. 

* See plate 12, Lapham's Antiquities. These effigies Dr. I^pham calls lizards. 
+ See plate XXXVI, No. 4, Dr. Lapham's Antiquities. 



One at Mayville. Two at a point near the Wisconsin River,.. 
Town 5, Section lo, Range 7 East.i 

Two squirrels may be seen 
on the cuts which are descrip- 
tive of the works at Lake Hor- 
icon, and one on the small 
cut descriptive of the works at 

A squirrel may be seen on 
the ground formerly belonging 
to Gov. Faiwell, adjoining the 
Insane Asylum, at Madison. 
It is a very striking effigy. The 
squirrel is represented as sit- 
tincf erect on its haunches, 
with the tail curved back and 
above its head. The effigy of the 
squirrel is about 30 feet long, 
but the tail including all its 
curves is about 300 feet long. 

The Otter. This is an effigy 
which is quite common. It was 
first discovered by S. Taylor, 
andi s described by Squier and 

The situation of this particular effigy is near the Blue river in 
the Wisconsin valley. We give a cut of it. The length of the 
animal is 57 feet; 
length of head and 
neck about 30 feet; 

length of tail. 45 - Fi-. 21. 

feet; width of body, 15 feet. Other effigies similar to this kind 
may be seen on the cuts descriptive of the work at Horicon. 
It is, however, sometimes difficult to distinguish this effigy from 
that of the fox, though Dr. Lpham, who has studied the mounds 
at this place, frequently mentions the otter, and says that this 
figure which appears so often among the mounds is probably 
the otter. We liave called it the fox. The narrow neck and 
head, perhaps, should distinguish the otter from the fox, and so 
we grant Mr. Lapham's position. 

The Weasel is another ^gy often found among the emblematic 
mounds. The writer has seen one such effigy near Green Lake. 
The weasel appears to be springing upon a bird which is within 
a few feet of its mouth and which is fluttering to escape. Both 
animals are transfixed and appear very strange as they retain these 

The mounds convey the idea as distinctly as 

Fip. 2(1. 

striking attitudes. 

t See plate XLVIII, I^pham's Anti(4uities. 

* See Smithsonian Contribution, Vol. I, I'late XLIV 

Xo. 6. 



if they were a picture. A specimen of the weasel was seen by 
the writer at Baraboo during the recent trip. The [dimensions 
of the animal are as follows : Total length, 263 feet; head and 
neck, 30 feet long; the body, 100 feet long; tail, 133 feet long 
The weasel may be recognized in the cuts of the works at 


T/ie Coon. This effigy is depicted by Dr. Lapham in several 
localities. The mounds described as situated near Milwaukee, 
may have been intended to represent wolves, but they lack the 
head, and so possibly might have represented coons instead. 
Several mounds at Lake Winnebago resemble coons as much as 
they do wolves. One mound in the group at Sheboygan was 
evidently intended to represent this animal. The writer has 
seen the effigy of a coon at Green Lake. This effigy, however, 
differs" from any other which has been described. It represents 
the coon as just having lighted upon the ground from off a tree. 
The animal is sprawling, with four legs bent on either side of 
the body, the head flat and tail curved. The effigy of a coon may 
also be seen among the group of mounds at Horicon. (Fig. 16.) 

We give a cut here which will show the distinguishing marks 
of these effigies. It is a cut of mounds found at Waukesha. 







Fig. 22. 

Of the seven effigies in this cut the first may be considered as 
that of a wolf, the second that of the panther, the third that of 
the squirrel, the fourth the coon, the fifth an effigy of a catfish , 

t See also Lapham's .\ntiquities, Plate XXXVII. 


sixth a bird. This group we should have said is located at 
Mayville, not at Waukesha. Dr. Lapham has called the bird a 
cross, but it is evidently a bird. The group is an interesting 
one, and well represents the different animals which we have 
undertaken to describe in this chapter. 



The task of identifying the animals represented by the effigies 
contained in the emblematic mounds, is the one which we have 
set before us in this chapter. 

I. The importance of this work will first engage our attention. 
This will be seen from several facts : 

1. There is much ignorance in reference to the emblematic 
mounds, and some have doubted whether they contain animal 
effigies. An author who has published a work upon " Mound 
Builders," identifying them with the Indians, has made the 
astounding assertion that there are no effigies in the mounds."' 
This seems strange, for Dr. I. A. Lapham published a work 
over thirty years ago, 'in which animal effigies were shown in 
great numbers. This work is deserving of all praise, as the sur- 
veying and plotting were in the main correct. There were, to 
be sure, many mistakes made by Dr. Lapham, especially in his 
identifications, as he seemed to lack the faculty of imagination, 
or some other equality, which should have enabled him to trace 
the resemblances in the right c irection. He called panthers, 
lizzards, and birds, crosses. But other animals he did recognize 
and the work done by him is worthy of confidence. Certainly, 
those who have never seen the effigies should be backward in 
denying his statements, for similar skepticisms and denials would 
overthrow science altogether. 

2. The interest in the mounds would be increased were we 
able to identify the effigies. There is a great lack of interest in 
the mounds, even on the part of those who ought to be familiar 
with them. Hunters and farmers pass over these effigies with- 
out noticing them. If they notice them, they do not recognize 
any animal shape in them, and many of them never dream that 
they contain animal effigies. 

The first work should be, to trace out the shapes and see what 

* Lucien Carr in Geological Report for Kentucky. 


resemblances there are in the effigies. Possibly these resem- 
blances would lead people to realize the importance of preserv- 
ing the mounds as they are. 

There is a wonderful rage for relics, and the first impulse is, 
to dig into the mounds. This, however, destroys the elfigies. 

The effigies as works of art, are worthy of admiration, and 
will in the future be regarded as great curiosities. 

Many of these mounds are situated near the lakes, where 
there are places of resort. Visitors from a distance are attracted 
to the lakes on account of their beauty. The effigies should be 
preserved. If the interest shall increase they will be Visitors 
should be led to recognize the effigies, and not allowed to destroy 
the mounds. 

3. There are many absurdities in reference to the objects rep- 
resented by the effigies which should be corrected. These ab- 
surdities sometimes appear in public print, but more of them are 
held in private and circulated among unthinking people. Some 
who are familiar with the mounds imagine that they see in them 
effigies of common domestic animals, such as horses, sheep and 
dogs, whereas a single thought ought to lead them to realize 
that the builders of the mounds would not have made effigies of 
these animals. They certainly could not have been familiar 
with them, unless they built the mounds after the advent ot 
white men. The recognition of deer, weasels, buffalo, antelopes 
and other wild animals is, undoubtedly, correct. These animals 
were common at the time when the effigies were constructed. 
All such identifications are to be welcomed, for, by the means, 
we may ultimately determine, what wild animals did exist here 
at the time the effigies were erected. 

The fauna has greatly changed, ev^en within fifty years, but the 
mounds are constant reminders of what it once was. Instead of 
horses, there were panthers; instead of cattle, buffalo; instead 
of sheep, wild cats and bears. There is a slight resemblance 
between the domestic and the wild animals, so that it is not 
strange if the effigies of the one are mistaken for those of the 
other, but by tracing the shape of the animals, we may be able 
to correct this mistake, and ascertain what fauna did prevail. 

4. The recognition of the animals in the effigies will clear up 
some disputed points. 

a. Dr. Lapham, in his celebrated work, has maintained that 
there are among the mounds the figures of crosses, of dragons, 
and other symbols, which exist onl)' among civilized races. The 
majority of these figures, however, we think will prove to be 
nothing but birds. Yet his statements in reference to them are 
taken without question. A recent w'riter, upon "Prehistoric 
America,"* has quoted these statements, as if they were true, and 

* Articles by Prof. F. W. Wright, published in the Chicago Advance, quoted in the 
Kansas City Revie->v for March, 1SS4. 



his quolation has again been published by a journal of consid- 
erable repute. It seems surprising that gentlemen who are con 
sidered authority, should imagine that the Mound Builders were 
familiar with the European symbols, and that they incorporated 
mto their effigies the traditions which are only peculiar to Chris- 
tian nations. There are, to be sure, those who maintain that 
this continent was settled by Indo Europeans, and that these 
symbols of the cross and dragon and serpent are Celtic, or at 
least, Aryan in their origin. 

Dr. J. S. Phene, of London, has visited this country, and ex- 
plored the mounds. He thinks that he has recognized not only 
these symbols, but animals, which are peculiar to European or 
Asiatic countries, as for instance the camel and the elephant. 

b. The great point of dispute, is, that concerning the elephant. 
It is well known that there is what ije called an " elephant mound " 
in this state. (See Fig. 23.) All those persons who hold the Euro- 
pean origin of the mound builders, would readily maintain that 
both the elephant and camel can be found in the effigies. Others, 
who do not believe in the European origin are, however, ready 
to maintain that the mounds were built so early, that the people 
who erected them were familiar with the mastodon. And so 
they think that this effigy proves not only the antiquity of the 
mounds, but the recent existence of the mastodon. 




Fig. 23. Elephant Mound near tlie Wisconsin River. Jared Warner. 

These are important points, but they should be studied care- 
iuWy. We are not inclined to dispute the evidences which may 
arise from other sources, but we object to hanging a decision 
upon so uncertain a thing as an effigy. 

Were we able to identify this as an elephant, one very import- 
ant fact would be fixed for a certainty, but thus far the identifica- 
tion remains doubtful. The chief authority for the existence of 
the elephant Q^gy is Mr. Jared Warner, who published the 
report of it in 1872.* The identification of the effigy was, how- 
ever, in accordance with a popular notion, and may not have 
been as carefully and critically made as perhaps it would be 

See Smithsonian Report, 1872. 


at the present time. The importance of carefully surveying 
and plotting the mounds is seen from the fact that so many 
points of great interest are made to hang on the identifying of 
a sino-le etfirrv like this. Unless there are other mounds ^vhich 
contain effigies of the elephants, we should not be inclined to 
giye a decision in reference to these points, but we should be 
convinced that the identifying of the animals is of prime im- 

In relerence to this elephant mound, we would say here, that 
there is considerable uncertainty about it in our mind. The 
mound has been plowed down, and flattened, so that its outlines 
cannot be definitely traced. Yet, judging from the character 
of the soil, and the shape of the effigy, we can imagine that 
even at the time of its survey and plotting, the shape ot it might 
have been very deceiving. We give a cut to illustrate. It will 
be noticed that the shape is very much that of an elephant, but 
no more so than some of the effigies seen elsewhere. The 
main question is, whether the proboscis is really there. The 
figure draw^n by the surveyor gives the proboscis, but it will 
be noticed that it represents it as a slightly elevated ridge and 
is somewhat obscure. We can imaci;ine how the washino- of 
the sandy soil could nroduce such a ridoje, when there was no 
intent, on the part of the builders, to represent it. Taking 
away this part of the animal ai]d adding to it the "ear" (probable 
horns), which the owner of the land sa3's, was formerly seen 
above the head, we can easily make it into a buftalo. Our own 
opinion is that it was the eftigy of a butialo. We give, 
liowever, the testimony of those who have surveyed the 
effigy, and leave it for the readers to decide, merely adding this 
remark, that the gentlemen might all have been mistaken, espe- 
cially as they seem to have had a preconceived notion in refer- 
ence to it. 

The figure is from a survey taken on the ground by Mr. 
Jared W^arner, Alexander Paul and J. C. Scott, in October, 
1872. Mr. Warner says: "This mound has been known 
here for the last t\vent3'-five years as the ' Elephant Mound.' 
The mound is situated on the sandy bottom lands of the Missis- 
sippi, about eight miles below the Wisconsin river. It is situ- 
ated in a shallow valley, on either side of which, about twenty 
rods distant, are grassy, sandy ridges, about fifteen feet higher than 
the land where the mound stands. The total length of the effigy is 
135 feet; from hind feet to back, sixty-five feet; from fore feet to 
back, sixty-six feet; width across fore legs, twenty-one feet; across 
hind legs, twenty-four feet; from end of proboscis or snout to neck 
or throat, thirty-one feet; from end of proboscis to fore legs, thirty- 
nine feet; space between fore and hind legs, fifty-one feet; across 
the body, thirty-six feet; general height of body abov^e the sur- 
rounding ground, five feet. The head is large, and the propor- 
tions of the whole so symmetrical, that the mound well deserves 



the name of the ' Big Elephant Mound.' Is not the existence 
of such a mound good evidence of the existence of the mastodon 
and the mound builders." Another person who visited this effigy 
and represented it as an elephant, is Mr. Moses Strong, who says, 
"It is known as the ' Elephant Mound,' and as it lies upon the 
ground it resembles an elephant or mastodon much more closely 
than any other animal, and the resemblance is much more per- 
fect in this instance than iii any other effigy. This mound, in 
common with all the rest in the group, has been under cultiva- 
tion, and on account of its size special efforts have been made 
with plows and scrapers to bring it to the level of the adjacent 
field. Its size alone has protected it. These efforts have resulted 
in diminishing its height, increasing its width and general cir- 
cumference, and renderngits outline somewhat indistinct." 

II. We propose to show what difficulties there are in the way 
of properly identifying the effigies and how liable we are to 
make mistakes : i. The indefiniteness with which the animal 
shape is represented in the mounds. Embossed figures in the 
soil are not like figures carv-ed in stone, for they cannot assume 
as clear cut shapes. It is true that the relief of the effigies 
is always bold and striking, and that the shapes of the animals 
are depicted by the swells and depressions in the mounds so 
that every portion of the effigy may be regarded as a close imi- 
tation of every part of the animal, the earth mould fairly repre- 
senting the form and shape. Yet, notwithstanding all this, the 
effigy may fail to impress an image upon our eye so as to convey 
the idea as to what animal was actually intended by it. This 
lack of definiteness is owing partly to the manner in which the 
animals are represented. The four-footed animals are repre- 
sented in profile, with the legs upon one side, but the legs are 

not separated. In 
this respect the effi- 
gies differ from in- 
scriptions. We give 
a few illustrations 
of this. Fig. 24 is 
a specimen of an in- 
scribed image found 
upon the side of the 
Fig. 24. cave at West Salem. 

The drawinglwas.prepared by Rev. Edward Brown. Itprobably 
represents a bear. Fig. 25 is also 
the figure of a bear found on Lake 
Mendota, described by Dr. DeHart. 
This figure, however, is not cor- 
rectly drawn, as the effigy itself has 
the legs united, but the person v / / 
W'ho plotted it took the liberty to :^ 
separate the legs, and to put the ears ^ 
and tail and feet of the animal into 




the picture. It is easy to recognize the bear in the picture, but 
not so easy in the effigy. Fig. 26 more correctly represents the 
effigies as they really exist. 

This was plotted by Dr. I. A. Lapham. It represents the 
bear. The figure shows how symmetrical the effigies are, but 
at the same time reveals the indefiniteness of the animal shapes. 

It is easier to recognize the 

bear in this efiigv, than in 

"X the cave mscnption. but 

J there are manv mounds 

„,„m. mm,« .mwMiii",,,,,,,,,, /' wfiich CIO not contain as 

\ I close resemblance to the 

'*"""'' animals as this does. 

2. Another source of error 
in identifying the effigies is 
a want of familiarity with the animals. We have referred to this 
before, but will give an illustration of it here. The inscriptions upon 
the cave afford an illustration. Fig. 27. The gentleman who de- 
scribed these figures, undertook to give the names of the animals — 
some he gave correctly. He called them the buffalo, the otter, 
the rabbit and the lynx. The buffalo can be recognized by its 
horns, the otter by its tail, and the rabbit by its ears ; but the 
lynx is not right, for this animal has no tail, and the animal in 
the picture has a tail. It may be a wild cat, but is not the lynx. 
The same gentleman has imagined that he saw figures of 
mastodons and of the hippopotamus, but examination of the 
figures shows that the proboscis is lacking from the mastodon, 
the sign for speech having been mistaken for the proboscis. 

Fig. 26. 

Fig. 27. 

The figure of the hippopotamus is not to be found, but that 
which was mistaken for one is probably a bear. 

It is not strange that these figures were not understood, for 


naturalists make great mistakes in identifying animals from 

It was the confession of a prominent geologist, made to the 
author, who is familiar with the emblematic mounds, that he 
could not recognize any animal resemblances in the efhgics. 
Possibly this was owing to the lack of familiarity with the ani- 
mals. It may have been, however, owing to the lack of imag- 
ination. This brings us to a third source of error. 

3. There are difficulties which arise from the imagination. 
The effigies are very likely to be misinterpreted, unless we are 
especially careful. Preconceived notions may mislead us. 
Imagination is here both a useful and a dangerous faculty. It 
conveys to us as nothing else can, the idea of resemblance, 
the image in the effigy suggesting the image of the animal, and 
is useful in this respect. There are many cases, however, where 
part of an effigy will suggest the same part in an animal, and 
without stopping to trace out the image and verify the fact, im- 
agination leaps forward to picture the whole animal, and, per- 
haps, by that very act, leads the observer astray. In this case 
imagination is dangerous. The plotting of mounds is a pre- 
ventive of these mistakes. A surveyor who is able to take 
accurate measurements and then to plot the effigy, is most 
likely to be accuratein his conclusions. And yet, unless there 
is some imagination in the surveyor, so that the contour and 
complete figure can be given, mistakes will result from the very 
lack of the quality. A mere mechanical plotting will not con- 
vey the idea of resemblance. 

Imagination is a useful faculty in the reader as well as the 
plotter. In presenting to the public pictures of the effigy mounds 
we have used silhouettes. These, however, do not convey any 
idea of the relief of the mounds; they merely give the shape and 
outline-. Readers must depend upon their imagination to realize 
how they look when embossed upon the surface of the ground. 
If our readers will, however, take the descriptions given and 
then exercise their imaginative faculty, they may be able to 
recognize the animal shapes and trace the resemblances. 

4. Another difficulty in the way of identifying animals is found 
in the size of the mounds. The pictures of the mounds some- 
times convey an idea which the effigies themselves would fail to 
do. When the mounds are surveyed and plotted and brought 
down by a scale of inches to a small size, it is easier to decide 
as to the animal intended than when we are looking at the effigy. 

The effigies are generally from 50 to 75 feet in length, and from 
15 to 30 feet in width. Where certain portions of the effigy 
become prominent, as in the case of horned animals, the 
eye seizes upon these, and so far fixes a resemblance to some 
animal. If the remaining portion of the body accords with these, 
the animal can be easily recognized. It matters little whether 



Diacram No. i. 

the prominent parts are heads or tails, these assist 
the eye and are not easily mistaken. But where 
the bodies only, are given, the size of the image 
leads to many mistakes. If there are no promi- 
nent marks upon it, the eye fails to seize upon 
anything that is distinctive, and the image con- 
stantly eludes us. It is remarkable how many 
mistakes we may make from this cause. Take the 
buffalo as an illustration. If onel imits his vision 
to the hind quarters, it is easy to mistake this ani- 
mal for an elephant, as the hind quarters of the 
elephant resemble that of a buffalo. The correc- 
tion of the mistake, to be sure, would come if care 
was taken to notice the prominent mark of the 
buffalo, the horns upon the head, but carelessness 
here might result in carrying out the delusion. 

We have been informed by the owner of the 
farm where the celebrated elephant effigy is, that 
there was originally such a prominence above the 
head, although he supposed that it represented 
the "ear" of the elephant. 

We give illustrations of this point by a series 
of cuts taken from the Smithsonian.* They rep- 
resent mounds which were surveyed by Moses 
Strong, a procession or chain of them being found 
on land adjoining the residence of Hon. Robt. 
Glenn, in Grant county, not far from the line be- 
tween sections 19 and 30 of T. 6, R. 6 W. (See 
Diagram i.) We quote his words: 

"The mounds seem to be connected, but appear 
in several localities as component parts of one 
grand chain or procession of animals, extending 
nearly a mile. The first seen are four round 
mounds in the orchard near the house. Then a 
space intervenes, and a long mound is seen. Near 
to this are two effigies, slightly different in shape 
and size. Pursuing a northeasterly course a re- 
markable series of long straight mounds, effigy 
and circular mounds being entirely absent. 

The line conforms to the crest of the ridge in 
all its irregularities, and the mounds command an 
extensive view on both sides of the ridge. 

Proceeding across the crest of the ridge nothing 
is seen for about half a mile, until, the first of the 
mounds. Fig. 3, Diagram 2, is found followed by 
Fig. 4 and 5, at short intervals. These are some- 
what similar and not unlike Fig. 2, Diagram i. 

' See Smithsonian Report for 1876. 











allowing Fig. 5 is a row of 20 round mounds, each 25 ft. in diameter, 
or 6 ft. high and about 25 ft. apart. They are are arranged in hnes con- 
rming to the crest of the ridge and present a pecuHarly striking appear- 
ce. At the northern end of the row, the ridge turns abruptly to the 
ist, and a change in the mounds takes place, the effigies being now headed 
the other direction, the effigies at the south end of the mounds being 
aded to the south, but these to the west. Proceeding westward along the 
ige, Fig. 7 is seen. The animal represented 
' this mound appears to have a short tail and 
)rns, and is probably designed to represent 
me species of deer." 

Mr. Strong says, " It is one of the few effi- 
es in which we can trace a resemblance to 
me particular animal." A long interval now 
;curs, until at the extreme end of the ridge, 
'O effigies, Figs. 9 and 10 are found. From 
is point a beautiful view of the Mississippi 
id Wisconsin rivers is obtained. 
One peculiarity about the group is mentioned 
'• Mr. Strong — it is this — that a certain uni- 
rmity of distribution and arrangement exists 
nong the mounds, indicating a preconceived 
an or custom. The effigies close the series 
I the western end as they begin the series on 
e southern end. The location of the long 
ounds are by themselves, the circular mounds 
e by themselves, and the effigies also are 
cated in groups by themselves. 
The animals in this group of mounds seem 
be uncertain, and Mr. Strong, who has sur- 
yedthem, did not undertake to identify them, 
idging from the diagrams, we should say that 





_~~-j^ iW — 

Scc.2(j Eeu.17 




P ^ 


-f^" V 








u iro 2'jo 3fD 4:0 Doo Gno 7ir alio ncc lOfiOreer. 








Diagram No. 2. 



they were effigies of buffaloes, for the marked characteristics of 
the buffalo effigies may be seen in them, viz., the projection repre- 
senting horns above the head. Yet any one who will study 
the shape of the effigies in this group will see how easily the 
animals might be taken for elephants. The mounds are in the 
same locality with the celebrated elephant mound. If these are 
buffaloes, we should incline to say that that was also. There is 
this difference in the locality. These mounds are on the bluff, 
where the soil is more compact, and where the effigies were less 
likely to be washed. The effigy of the elephant is, however, on 
bottom land, where the soil is sandy. It is situated in a swail 
which is subject to floods. It is also raised above the water 
level above the Mississippi river, but about eight feet, and 
although situated some distance from the river, might in some 
seasons be flooded by water, which would set back from the 


III. The aids towards the recognition of the effigies will 
next engage our attention, i. First among the aids is the 
method of classification of the animals visible among the effigies. 
A few words in reference to what has already been done will be 
in place here. In a former paper we have spoken of the classi- 
fication of the animals visible among the effigies. This classifi- 
cation is the more remarkable from the fact that it prevailed 
among so rude and primitive a people. But it, at least, proves to 
be a great aid to us. The animals are classitied according to 
their habits, or the element in which they have their existence, 
the land animals being represented in one way, the amphibious 
animals in another, the water animals in another, and the 
birds, or creatures of the air, in still another. These four 
classes have been identified, the manner of erecting the mounds 
being so distinctive that there is no uncertainty in reference to 
them. A subdivision of the land animals has also been referred 
to, and many individual varieties have been identified under two 
separate heads, the grazing animals being recognized by their 
horns, and the fur-bearing by their tails. 

There are four classes of animals which may be recognized 
in the effigies. This we have already referred to, and we main- 
tain there is no uncertainty in reference to it. 

Our previous paper described only the land animals. We now 
propose to show the manner of representing the three other 
classes of animals, viz., the amphibious, the water animals, and 
the birds or creatures of the air. The plate given herewith, repre- 
sents a group of mounds which was discovered and has been 

* Smithsonian Report, 1872, page 416. 
t Smithsonian Report, 1876, page 431. 





1 ¥" » ....^^' 

Diagram 3 Effigies at Lake Koslikonong. Pket. 


plotted by the author. It is situated on the banks of Lake Kosh- 
konong, and covers a plat of ground about ten acres in extent. 
The effigies vary in length from 75 to 200 feet, and in width from 
1 5 to 30 feet. A great variety of effigies is presented by the 
group every animal being different. The animals which we 
have identified are, first, the lizard, the muskrat, a turtle, two 
eagles on one side, and on the other side a wood-cock, a heron, 
a hawk and an eagle spread, a fish and a small bird. The 
mounds in the centre are not animal effigies, but were probably 
either burial mounds or mounds erected as foundations for 
houses, the effigies of the animals being placed on either side as 
protections. Possibly the group indicates a place of worship or 
of sacrifice or a sacred place of some kind. It is situated not 
far from a group which has been described in our former paper 
as a place of sacrifice and as an outlook station, but in the 
background on the bank of a bay, as if the intent was to make 
it less conspicuous and more private in its character. The ob- 
ject of the group is, however, not to be discussed here, but the 
character of the effigies. The reader will notice that the animals 
are represented mainly in motion and in the motion which would 
be peculiar to animals mhabiting the different elements. The 
lizard and muskrat are represented as crawling or swimming 
the birds as flying and the fish as floating, the three classes of 
animals corresponding to the three elements. The reader will 
also notice the different methods of representing this. The am- 
phibious animals, such as the lizard, turtle and muskrat, all are 
represented with their legs upon both sides as if in the attitude 
of swimming. The birds on the other hand, all have their 
wings extended as if in the act of flying. The fish is 
is represented with the body alone, no particular part of this 
animal being prominent. The effigies are all good imitations of 
the animal shapes; the attitudes of the animals are also natural, 
but the manner of representing the different classes of animals 
is the most worthy of study. This is uniform — all the effigies 
which we have observed have the same characteristics, the man- 
ner of representing the animals having become conventional and 

It seems strange that the different orders could be so repre- 
sented and indicated so well, but the builders of these effigies 
were evidently artists. They understood the division or the 
classification of the animals, and were able to represent it in the 
effigies. We do not claim that they had any scientific or ar- 
tistic training, but there were natural powers among them which 
brought them to an mlimate acquaintance with the animals and 
which gave them much skill in depicting them. Their knowl- 
edge was that which came from observation and their skill 
from the imitative faculty. In these respects they excelled, 
even if they were crude and untrained in others. This has been 


noticed in other cases. The rude drawings which have been 
discovered on bone and horn reHcs, taken from caves and gravel 
beds in Europe, indicate much artistic skill. The same is true 
of the pottery vessels found in this country. The mounds, how- 
ever, show an unusual amount of knowledge concerning the an- 
imals. How the classification originated wc cannot tell. It is 
possible that it was the result of observation, merely. The induct- 
ive faculty, however, was evidently possessed by these people in 
common with other human beings ; and what is more, their 
habits of observing developed it to a high grade. They seem to 
have more skill in this respect than many who are far more cul- 
tivated. By observing the animals as individuals they may have 
come to perceive the resemblances between them, not only in 
appearance, but in habits, motions, attitudes, their familiarity with 
the animals, serving for them what a knowledge of the structure 
does to us. This would be the first stage. 

The next stage would be that they would notice that the ani- 
mals which inhabited the same elements, either land, water or air, 
universally have the same appearance. In erecting a likeness of 
them they would indicate this fact, and make the effigy of all 
the animals representative of the classes, those dwelling in dif- 
ferent elements having different shapes. This is a true classifi- 
cation, and as far as it goes, is as good a groupingof the animals 
as any. It indicates the system of development, as the external 
appearance and the habits of the animals are known to corres- 
pond to the elements inhabited. It docs not, of course, 
represent all the subdivisions, such as the modern scientists 
have established, but it saves us from uncertainty as to 
where certain animals belong in. the system. Sometimes, to be 
sure it seems as if the animals vv-ere grouped even more correctly, 
according to this system of classification, the different species 
being designated by the effigies as well as the orders and 
genera. Perhaps there is only an attempt to portray individual 
creatures, according to their known shapes. Yet this virtually 
brings us to the same point in the end, whether the divisions were 
recognized by the effigy builders or not. Their skillful imita- 
tions of the animals lead us to a study which is very similar to 
that which the naturalists would follow. 

There is something suggestive about this method, because it 
indicates that the shapes of the animals were correlated to the 
elements in which they dwelt, and the habits of the animals also 
were influenced by their environment. 

The manner in which the different animals move, as well as 
their general appearance would be correlated. The people who 
erected the mounds may not have reasoned this all out, but 
they were true naturalists, as well as true artists. They, by 
their powers of observation reached the true, system of classifi- 
cation. Representing the animals according to their appearance 



either, in motion or at rest, they would naturally give the distin- 
guishing traits, and so would unconsciously represent the orders 
as well as the individuals. 

Again, the religious notions of the people may have had some 
effect upon them. It appears that a system of animism prevailed 
among them which led them to see not only the forms and to 
understand the habits of the animals , but to recognize the spirit 
which controlled them. It was not an individual spirit which 
they recognized but an ancestral one. Each species was credited 
with an architypal spirit, which was the general cause of life. 
The Great Master of life ruled over all animals, but the subor- 
dinate masters of life ruled the different classes of animals. 
There were many spirits or masters. 

Everything had its spirit, the trees, the rocks, the streams, the 
animals. This ascribing a spirit to everything was equivalent 
to acknowledging a type of life. "Among the North American 
Indians," says one of the early missionaries, "they say that all 
the animals of each species have an elder brother, who is, as it 
were, the principal and origin of all the individuals, and this elder 
brother is marvelously great and powerful. The elder brother 
of the beaver, they tell me, is perhaps as large as our cabin." 

In whatever way we explain it, however, it is manifest that 
there was a system of classification among this mysterious 
people. If there were any doubt in reference to the classification, 
we think that the facts would dispel them. We shall give a few 
ilustrations, and would call attention to the correctness of the 
system by which the animals were classified. We have already 
shown that the land animals were universally represented with 
the legs upon one side. But the same uniformity can be seen in 

the other animals, 
the amphibious al- 
ways having been 
represented with the 
legs upon both sides, 
the birds represent- 
ed by their wings, 
and the fishes and 
serpents being rep- 
resented without 
either wings or legs. 
These are distinctive 
of the classes, and 
can be recognized 
in all cases. We give 
a series of figures to 
illustrate this point. 
See Figs. 28 to 31. 
These four figures represent the different classes, first, the land 

Fig. 28. 

Antelope in Ciianl County. SruoNt; 


animals; second, the amphibious creatures; third, the birds; 
fourth, the fishes and reptiles. The reader will notice the pecu- 
liarities of the different ethgies, the land animals having two 
projections on one side, the amphibious creatures having two 
projections on their sides, the birds having single projections on 
the sides, and the water animals having no projections. These 
are always distinctive and designate the orders or grand divis- 
ions which the animals belong. 

The first figure is the effigy of an antelope, and was recognized 
as such by the surveyor. It was plotted by Mr. Moses Strong, 
and may be seen in the group of effigies located in Grant county. 



Fig. 29. Turtle at Waukesha. Lapham. 

The second represents a turtle which is described by Dr. Lap- 
ham, and was found by him at Waukesha 


Fig. 30. Eagle at Madison, DeHart. 



The third is the effigy of an eagle, which may be seen on 
Lake Monona, near Madison, 
Wis. The fourth is the effigy 
of a serpent, in association with 


Serpent at Rip- 

lev Lake. Lapham. 

a bird. This was discovered by 
Dr. Lapham, on Ripley Lake. 

There is one locality where 
all the differerent classes of animals are portrayed 
side by side. The bear, representing the land ani- 
mal, the turtle, amphibious creatures, the night 
hawk representing the birds, the fish and crawfish 
representing the water animals. See Figs. 32 and 33. 

One peculiarity about the locality is that the effigies are situ 
ated on the summit of a series of knolls, the effigies covering 
the whole surface of the knoll and giving to it the shape of the 

FisT. -12. ?\Iounds on Lake Monona 


"^ I This is a very remarkable instance; for the shape of the effigies 
not only show to us the methods of classifying the animals 
but also the method of making the earth itself, expressive of 


Fig- 33- 

^Mounds on Lake Monona. Peet. 

the religious sentiment which oftentimes connected itself with 
the effigies, a sort of animistic conception being given in the 
double image. 

2, The distinctive marks of the individual species given in 
the mounds are aids in the work of identifying the animals. 
The individual species were represented by different repre- 
sentations of the same features — the legs and wings varying 
according to the species which were intended: This peculiarity 



will be seen in the figures which follow. They are figures of 
turtles, lizards and birds. The turtles being distinguished from 
lizards by the shape of their legs. The contrast between these 
will show the different methods of representing the animals. 

Fig. 34. Buffalo at Blue >rounds. Locke. 

There are other methods of representing the classification 
of the animals, but these are generally expressive of sub- 
divisions. These sub-divisions seem to have been recognized, 
for the different species of animals as well as the genera are 
marked by the effigies. We furnish several figures to show 
how the sub-divisions may be represented. These representa- 
tions do not interfere with the uniformity of method, by which 
the general divisions are represented, but only show the way in 
which the species could be indicated. We have seen already 
how the land animals are sub-divided, but the birds were also 
sub-divided, according to their species. The diagram (3) which 
represents the group of birds at Lake Koskonong, will show 
how these features are brought out, the different kinds of birds 
being there represented in the effigies. The wings are 
distinctive of the genus, but variations in the wings and heads 
and tails show not only the individuals but species. The 
reader will notice the different methods of representing species 
among the birds. 

We shall now follow the order previously given, taking first, the 
land animals, next the birds, next the amphibious creatures, and 
lastly, the water animals. We bave referred in a previous paper 
to the distinguishing mark of two classes of land animals, viz., 
the grazing and fur-bearing. The horns we found to be distmctive 
of one class and tails of the other. By these marks we have 



already identified a large number of these animals. We give a 
series of figures to show that these distinctions are carried out 
by the effigies to a greater extent than was there indicated. 

Two effigies have been described by J. Locke and R. C. 
Taylor, and may be recognized as images of buffaloes. Were 
there any doubt of it, the horns of one of them at least, would 
prove this. The effigies are situated eight miles east of Blue 
Mounds, in Dane county, near a sandstone bluff, and adjoining 
two long artificial embankments of earth walls. The embank- 
ments are 600 feet long, twenty feet wide, five feet high. 

Several other figures are given to represent the same point. 
The distinctive marks of all the classes of effigies can be seen in 
the diagrams. Two are figures representing turtles and 
lizards. See Figure 35. These effigies were discovered 
by the author on a bluff near Beloit, near the state line. One 
of the turtles has been nearly destroyed by the grading of the 

Turtles at Beloit. Peet. 

Still another figure representing turtles and birds is given. 
See Diag. 4. This group was also found by the author at Lake 

The different methods of representing the turtles and lizards, 
will be seen from these. Turtles are oftener represented with 
straight projections running at right angles to the body, but 
these are sometimes crooked. The lizard is also at times rep- 
resented in the same way, but the narrow, slim body of the 
lizard can easily be distinguished froni the turtle. 

3. Analysis of the different parts of the animal figures given 
in the effigies will enable us to identify the animals. 

The long neck of the heron, the short body and long bill of 
the woodcock, the curved wings of the hawk, and the broad 
folded wings of the eagle, enable us to identify the particular 
birds intended by these effigies. In the amphibious animals the 
distinctive points are generally the legs. These are so shaped 
that they indicate the particular animal intended. The legs of 



the turtle are generally straight and extended from right angles 
from the body. The legs of the lizzard are generally crooked, 
and can easily be recognized from their peculiar shape. The 
legs or the musk-rat are generally bent or folded toward the 
body in opposite directions. (See Diagram 3.) 




.,^#'ti^iiin»ffipiKl life 

Dia^. 4. Turtles and birds at Koshkonoug — Peet. 

It is probable that if we would analyze still farther, take 
some particular part, such as the head or legs, we could 
identify the effigies, even where other marks are lacking. For 
instance, the beaver is an animal which is sometimes represented 
with a tail so short as hardly to be recognized, and yet the 
beaver is easily identified by its shape. The effigy of a beaver 
(see Diagram 5) has been seen by the author, on the bank of 
Lake Waubasha, in connection with that of an antelope and sev- 
eral birds. The rabbit is an animal which is sometimes seen in 
effigy. The peculiarity of the rabbit is, that it has long ears and 
a very crooked or rounded haunch or hind legs. The effigy of 
the rabbit has been seen by the author, near Lake Wingra. At 
first, the shape was not recognized, but on a second visit, the 
peculiar shape of the legs, and the projection above the head, 
representing the ears, led to the identification of the animal. 
Dr. Lapham has described a figure which he calls the " elk," 
but it evidently was a rabbit.* The elk differs from this, in 
that the head is larger, the neck longer, the horns more erect, 
and the body more symmetrical. It would seem that the differ- 
ence between the rabbit and the elk would be easily recognized. 

The bear is an animal which is represented in the effigies, but 

* See Lapham's Antiquities, page 54, figure 22 



Diagram 5. 

is more diffi- 
cult to recog- 
nize and iden- 
tity than any 
other. It is 
known by its 
pecuhar body 
and head, the 
hind legs being 
the character- 
istic part. The 
bear is found 
in a great many 
different atti- 
t u d e s , and 
sometimes the 
attitudes bring 
confusion into 
the mind. Yet 
the large hind 
leg may be re- 
cognized in all 
the attitudes, 
and so the ef- 
gy be identi- 
fied. I t i s 
known by its 
peculiar body 
) and head. We 
give several 
figures of the 
bear to show 
how the dis- 
tinctive marks 
may be recog- 
nized, even 
when the atti- 
tudes are dif- 

Two effigies 
(Figs. ^6, Z7) 
rep resented 
the bear, one 
standing erect 
with head rais- 
ed, the other 
w i t h h e ad 
down and back 
raised. The 




Fig. 36. 


the two is 


&• 37- 
quire marked these two 
effigies were discovered by S. Taylor, 
^ and are described by Squirer and Davis* 
They were found on the Wisconsin river, 
near Muscoda, one of them is eighty-four 
feet long, and six feet high, the other is 
fifty-six feet long, and about twenty inches 
high. Dr. Lapham has described a num- 
ber of bear effigies, one of which seems to 
be in the attitude of climbing. Its head is 
turned up, and its fore paws partially raised, 
but the characteristic hind quarters identify 
it. It is found on Sauk prairie, near Honey 
Creek. Another bear effigy is also de- 
scribed by the same author, as situated in 
the same region, but this bear has the ordi- 
nary attitude, as if standing. This figure 
was recognized by Dr. Lapham, but the at- 
titude of the previous effigies led him to say, 
" That it would be difficult for the most 
practiced geologist to determine the genus 
or species to which it should be re frred. 
Another bear was plotted by the same au- 
thor, which had the front foot remarkably 
enlarged, yet the hind quarters would indi- 
cate what the animal was.f We have dis- 
covered the effigy of a bear on the banks of 
Lake Wingra, near the Charity School. 
The animal is here represented as standing. 
Sometimes bears appear before us in effigy 
having no particulay characteristic marks, 
and then they are much more diffiicult to 
recognize. Fig. 38 will illustrate this. 
This is taken from the plotting by Mr. R. 
C. Taylor.^ They are found near the Blue 
Mounds, in Dane County, eighteen miles 
from Madison. 

*See Lapham's Antiquities, Plate XLIV, Plate XLV 
No. 2, No. 4. 
Fig. 38. Bear effigies at + •'^'^^ Smithsonian Contributions, Vol. I, Plate XLTIT, 

Blue Mounds. S. Tayiok. ^^ ^.^Y^ ^'°- ^- ., . .- , . 1. r 

t See Smithsonian Contribution, \ ol. I Page, 12O. 




The group is situated on the great Indian trail and contains 
six effigies of quadrupeds, six mounds in the forms of parallelo- 
grams, one effigy of the human figure, and a small circle. The 
area comprehended in the map is something less than a half 
mile in length. It is not easy to make out from 
the effigies the character of the animals in- 
tended to be represented. It has been sug- 
gested that they were designed to represent 
buffalo, which formerly abounded in the vicin- 
ity, but the absence of a tail and of the char- 
acteristic hump of that animal would seem to 
point to a different conclusion. They display 
a closer resemblance to the bear than to any 
other animal with which we are acquainted. 
These figures seem to be most prevalent; and, 
though preserving about the same relative pro- 
portions, vary in size from 90 feet to 120 feet. 
In many others, as at this point, they occur 
in ranges, one after the other, at regular inter- 
vals of most of them. 

4. It should be noticed that the mound 
builders had a distinct way of representing the 
human form. The land animals were repre- 
sented with the legs upon one side, the water 
animals with legs upon both sides. But the 
human effigy is represented with legs and with 
arms, the arms generally extended. The arms, 
however, were the chief characteristic. A hu- 
man effigy is described by Mr. S. Taylor, as situated within a 
mile of the Wisconsin river, near Muscoda, on section 35, in 
which the legs do not appear, but the arms do. It was prob- 




Man near 
Blue Mounds. 

Fig. 40. 
Man and Woman on the Wisconsin River 


ably designed as an effigy of a woman. (See Fig. 40-) The 
head and breast are in this case raised by heaps of earth so as 
to be more prominent than the rest of the body. 

In the group is the effigy of a man with its head toward the 



west, and having its arms and legs extended. Its length is 125 
feet, and 140 feet from the extremit}- of one arm to the other, 
each arm being about 45 feet long. The body is about 30 feet 
in breadth and 100 feet long, the head is 25 feet in diameter. 
The elevation* of the whole effigy is about 6 feet. 

One cannot doubt that this effigy is the figure of a man, for 
all the characteristics peculiar to it are clearly shown. This 
etlig}' occupies an eminence, and was the centre of a group of 
mounds 15 in number, which extended at intervals of about 25 
feet apart for the distance of about 1,500 feet. x\nother human 
effigy is described by Mr. S. Taylor, as existing in the same 
locality, but representing the human figure with two heads. 
See Fi(j. i;. The measurements of this etii<xv are <riven as fol- 
lows: length of body 50 feet, arms 130 feet, neck and head 15 
feet, across the breast 25 feet, over the arm at shoufders 12 
feet, at the end 4 feet, over the hips 20 feet, over the legs 8 
feet, tapering to 5 feet, over the neck 8 feet, over the head 10 
feet. Another effigy has been described by the same author, 
as situated near Sec. 35, T. 4, R. i W. It is situated in the 
margin of the forest, and is truly a giant, measuring from the 
extremity of one arm to the other 177 feet, and from the top of 
the head to the end of the trunk 11 1 feet. Its shoulders, head 
and breast are elevated 4 feet. About a mile to the north of 
this is another effigy of like magnitude, accompanied by a large 
group of works. Among them is a large mound, 200 feet in 
circumference and 5 feet in height. * Dr. Lapham has men- 
tioned a number of effigies, which he thinks were human fig- 
ures, but in several cases has mistaken birds for human effigies. 
One such figure may be seen at Mavville, and forms the bird 
effigy in the group, described in our last paper. Another hu- 
man effigy is described as situated on Grand River, and is 
depicted in Fig. 26, it is called "The Man," and is remarkable 
for the unequal length of the arms. This also, is evidently the 
effigy of a bird. Another human figure, with gigantic arms, 
having a stretch of 2S0 feet, and a bod}- of 54 feet in length, is 
described as existing near the Wisconsin River, on Sec. 35, 
T. 9, R. 4 E. This figure stands by itself in a valley in a pass 
between two high sandstone blufts, one which rises immediately 
above the head. Another, also, on Sec. 9, T. 16, R. 2. This 
is called "a man," with legs expanded out, having no contrac- 
tion for the neck. Both of these fiijures are, however, birds. 
At least the characteristics of the human effigy are lacking. 
There is no neck or head which has anv resemblance to the hu- 
man form, and the so-called arms and legs are as close imita- 
tions of wings, and the divided tail of birds. In fact, none of 
the figures described by Dr. Lapham are human effigies. 

It is doubtful, also, whether the last figure described by Mr. 

*See Squier & Davis' Contributions- Vol. I, Page 133, Plale XLIV, No. 2. 


S. Taylor, was that of a man. The author has discovered effigies 
which might be taken for man mounds, but which were more 
likely intended for bird effigies. One such can be seen in the 
group of mounds on Lake Wingra. (See Fig. 12, No. i,Vol. VI.) 
This is much more likely to have been a bird, probably a night- 
hawk. Human effigies have, however, been discovered by the 
author, and identified to a considerable degree of certainty. One 
such was found near Lake Monona, on land belonging to Mr. 
Nichols. The effigy forms one of a group, among which is a 
panther and a bird.' The most striking specimen of the human 
effigy, is one which was discovered by the author, in company 
with Prof. F. W. Putman and Mr. J. C. Kimbal. It is situated 
near the public school building in the village of Baraboo. The 
effigy formed one of a line of mounds, which extended over the 
bluff where the school house now stands. The human effigy 
was, however, situated near the foot of the hill at the end 
of the line of mounds. It represented a man as lying upon his 
back, on the side of the hill, with feet extended toward the south : 
one arm drawn in toward the body and the other arm bent at 
the elbow and extending away from the body. The legs were 
not so plain, as they had been destroyed by the street grade, 
they ended in a garden and only one of them could be traced 
throughout its whole length. There is no doubt that the effigy 
was that of a man, the resemblance was too striking to doubt it. 





The study of bird effigies is one of great interest. It brings 
us into the haunts of nature, and presents to us a very interesting 
class of works. These effigies are close imitations of nature, 
and are often excellent works of art. They have also great 
significance, and should be studied with this point in view. 

There are four questions which arise in connection with the 
study of birds, ist. Their shapes and attitudes. 2d. Their habits 
and haunts. 3d. Their character, disposition and spirit or nature. 
4th. The proper method of classifying them. These questions 
are interesting in connection with the bird effigies, for they bring 
up the question whether there is any correspondence in the 
effigies to the birds, in these particulars. In reference to this we 
are free to say that bird life is very plainly exhibited. It would 
seem that the builders of the mounds were well acquainted 
with the habits and peculiarities of the birds and other animals, 
and that they had great skill in exhibiting those habits in the 
.nounds. We do not say that the mound builders were confined 
Vo this imitative purpose, for there seems to be in many of the 
effigies a secondary purpose, as if a religious motive ruled in 
the erection of them, but if any such motive did obtain, it is 
evident that it only intensified their imitative art, and carried 
their skill from the depicting of the shapes of the birds into a 
subtle representation of the spirit and real character of the 
birds. It is singular how skillful they were in representing the 
attitudes of the birds. This skill was exercised upon mere heaps 
of earth, but they had the faculty of moulding them into such 
1 shape as to tell a story which any attentive observer may read. 

I. The Shapes and Attitudes of the Birds. These are repre- 
sented by the effigies, and enable us to distinguish the birds from 
all other creatures. It is important that we study the shapes and 
attitudes, for many mistakes have been made for the want of a 
proper understanding of them. We have seen that there are 
several classes of effigies, and that the distinguishing features of 
the animals are represented by the mounds, two projections 
upon one side of a central figure being always indicative of the 
land animals, the two projections upon two sides of a central 
figure being indicative of the amphibious creatures. We are 
to notice that the birds are distinguished by a smgle projection 
upon each side of a central figure, and that birds are uniformly 
represented in this way. A fourth class of effigies may be dis- 



tino-uished by having a single projection on one side; this class 
represents not animals, but implements, such as battle axes 
and war clubs. A fifth class is distinguished by having no projec- 
tion whatever. These are the fishes and reptiles which are known 
to have neither legs nor wings„ We have already called atten- 
tion to these distinguishing marks, but so many mistakes have 
been made that we need to be careful in our analysis of the 
effigies, (i) We therefore call attention again to the four classes 
of effigies. 

Fig. 41. 

Fig. 42. 

The bear, the bird, the turtle, the fish, and war club, are 
here placed side by side. (See figs. 41-42-43-44-45.) The bear 
is taken trom a group at Muscoda. The bird from a group 
on the Wisconsin River. The fish and the war club from a 
o-roup at Mayville. It is noticeable that many of the groups 
have all four classes of animals associated. The group at May- 
ville has three land an.imals, the coon, panther, and wolf, one 

Fig. 43- F^g- 44- 

bird effigy, one fish, and one implement, the war club, but no 
amphibious creature represented. At Lake Koshkonong, there 
are, however, severa.1 groups which contain all of the classes or 
animals in close proximity. Here in one group may be seen 
the panther, the turtle and the fish, no bird. In another 
group may be seen the panther, the turtle, the duck and the fish, 

Fig. 45- 

but no war club. In another, a lizard, muskrat and turtle 
represent the second class, the eagle, hawk, bittern, the 
third class, the fish, the fourth, but no land animal and 


no implement. (See figs. 10 and 15, Vol. VI, No. i, 
Diagram 3, page 186.) In the mounds at Lake Monona, 
the bear, turtle, bird, fish and craw fish and war club, are in 
one group. In another there are turtles, birds ot different kinds, 
fishes, but no land animals and no implements. At Lake Hori- 
con there are foxes, squirrels and wolves to represent land ani- 
mals, turtles to represent the amphibious creatures, wild geese 
and ducks to represent birds, and fishes to represent water animals,, 
war clubs and composit mounds. There is a locality which has 
been described by Dr. Lapham, where a large number of ridges 
are placed in such a shape as to form a square inclosure. Here 
the onl}' effigy is a war club, several shapes and kinds, how- 
ever, being seen. On the Milwaukee River lays a group where 
the turtle, the wild goose, the crane, a serpent and a war club 
are all associated, but no land animals present. (See Lapham's 
Antiquities, Plate X.) 

At Pewaukee there are ten turtles and only one land animal, 
and that in an excavation or intaglio effigy rather than in an 
elevated mound. At Indian Prairie there are four intaglio 
panthers and two birds, but no turtles, fishes or war clubs. At 
Honey Creek there are birds and buffalo. At Lake Winnebago 
there are coons and squirrels, turtles, eagles, war clubs and 
fishes, but no composit mounds. At Great Bend there are 
panthers and turtles and birds, but no war clubs. Occasionally 
tadpoles and serpents are seen among the mounds. 

It is noticeable that in the effigies of birds the wings 
are distinctive of the genus or order, but that the bodies 
or beaks are distinctive of the species. The birds are recog- 
nized by the wings, but are distinguished from one another 
by other parts of the body. There are a few effigies of birds 
where the wings are not represented, the shape of the body 
and bill being the only indication that a bird was intended. The 
most noticeable effigy is that of the woodcock at Lake Kosh- 
konong. (See Diagram 3.) This is an exceptional case. If the 
reader will take the pains to look over the diagrams, he will 
notice how uniform the representations of the birds are. It seems 
as though this method of portraying them had become conven- 

(2) We next call attention to the different attitudes of the birds. 
Four shapes may be recognized in the effigies, (first) where the 
wing is in a straight line forming a long ridge at right angles 
to the body; (second) where the wings are partially bent, the 
ridge frequently being of great length, but bent at such points 
as to properly represent the proportions of the wings; (third) 
where the wings are bent at right angles; a (fourth) shape is 
where the wings are curved like a scythe. Here the proportions 
are also observed, the length of the wing compared with the 
body being indicative of the species. It is a question whether the 



species can always be recognized by the wings alone, but there 
are many cases where the wings make that attitude of the bird. 
The eagle has generally three attitudes; one where the wings are 
extended in a straight line; the otherwhere the wings are par- 
tially bent; and the third where the wings are at right angles. 
Eaf^les are generally recognized by the wings as well as the 
beak, as the attitudes are represented in a very lifelike manner. 
The hawk belongs to the same order and resembles the 
eagle. It is, however, oftener represented with the wings bent, 
and may be recognized by the angular shape of the effigy. The 
difference between the hawks and eagles may be seen by com- 
paring the figures. The hawk has frequently a forked tail, but 
the eao-le never has. A good illustration of the shape of the 
wings may be seen in a group at Lake Monona. 







Fig. 46. Bird Effigies at Lake Monona. 

The eagle is here represented as having its wmgs extended, 
the hawks have their wings bent at right angles ; the wild geese 
have their wings curved ; the pigeons have their wings oblique 
to the bodv, and one figure has one wing protruding forward i he 
figure illustrates not only the different attitudes of the birds, but 
also how the birds differ from one another in their shapes. 
Some of the same birds are represented on a large scale in the 
figures which follow, and from these their shapes may also be 



(3) The distinguishing marks of the effigies which rep- 
resent the species of the birds will next be given. These 
are seen in the beaks and bodies. We shall illustrate this 
point by figures, taking some of the illustrations from the 
groups already described but representing the birds as de- 
tached from the groups. We shall also mention the individual 
species, and call attention to the shapes of the effigies as por- 
traying the species. We shall not undertake to describe all of 
the species, but take the more prominent kinds as typical. The 
wi/d goose is the first which we shall notice. 
are frequently rcDresented ^ 
in the effigies. We have 
of them at 
Monona, at i\Iav- 

Wild geese 

seen effigies 


ville, near Sauk Prairie, on ^ 
the Wisconsin river, at ^^" 
Honey Creek, and many 
other localities. It is 
well known that the wild 
goose has a very long neck 
and a short body. Wild 
geese are always repre- 
sented in this manner. A 
figure is given here repre- 
senting a part of the group 
seen at Lake Horicon. Here the wild 
with foxes and squirrels. (See Fig. 47.) 



geese are associated 

T/w Duck — It is well known 
that the duck, on the other hand, 
has a short neck and a thick, 



A figure is given 

Fig. 48 — Ducks at Lake Koshkonong. 

to illustrate this. (See Fig. 48.) 
This represents a group at Lake 
Koshkonong. There are in one 
group two birds. These have 
short, curved wings, sharp beaks 
and round, plump bodies, proba- 
bly intended to represent differ- 
ent kinds of ducks, the mallard 
and blue duck, birds which are 
common in this region at the 
present time.* These two birds 
are attended by long, tapering 
mounds, which were intended 
for fishes, though the shape of 
the fish is lacking. 

"See Fig. 15, first paper. 



The Sivalloiv is a bird distinguished 
for having peculiarly sharp wings. The 
swallow is seen at Lake Koshkonong, 
associated with a group with two pigeons 
and a turtle. (Fig. 49.} 

The swallow resembles the night-hawk, 
and we are in this case at a loss to say 
whether it is the swallow or night-hawk 
which is here represented. 

The Pigeon is frequentl}^ represented 
in effigy. This bird has a pointed tail 
and is represented with wings at right 
angles or partialh' extended, and is easily 
recognized by the shape and attitude. 
Several pigeons have been described 
by Dr. Lapham,as situated at Maus Mills 
on the Lemonvvier river. 

The Ou'lis a bird which is easily recog- 
nized by its horns. The effigy of a horned 
owl was seen by Mr. S. Taylor, in Grant 
county. Sec. 16, T. 8, R. i, W. The 
owl has a large, thick body, short bill, 
and is peculiarly heavy across the 
shoulders. The effigies all have these 
characteristics. (See Fig. 50.) 

The Prairie Hen is also frequently 
represented in effigy ; this is common on Fig. 50. 

the prairies and the effigy of it is oftener seen near prairies than 
anywhere else. One such effigy may be seen at Waukesha. It 
is called by Dr. Lapham the cross. Several etligies of prairie 

chickens may be seen at Craw- 
fordsville. Here the effigy is asso- 
ciated with panthers and turtles, 
but is called by Dr. Lapham, the 
dragon. In both cases the bird is 
seen in the attitude of iiight, its 
wings extended in a straight line, 
an attitude which is ver}- common with the prairie chicken. The 
wings are wide the body thick, the tail round and the head short. 
The Htnvk is a bird which has marked characteristics, but always 
has in the effigies a sharp bill, a flat head, long, pointed wings and 
may be easily distinguished from all other birds except the eagle. 
The eagle belongs to the same family in order and as a result 
the two efhgies are more likely to be confounded. We give a 
figure representing haw^k effigies, (See Fig. 58) taken from the 
group at Honey Creek. The haw^ks were there associated with 

F'g- 51- 




buffaloes and are plainly recognized in the 
group. There are many other effigies of 
birds but we have not space to describe 
them all. 

The proportion between the wings and 
body is generally indicative of the species. 
It is remarkable how accurately the pro- 
portions were observed. It would seem 
almost as if measurements had been made, 
and that etligies were erected from a scale 
of inches. Occasionalh', however, the 
wings and bodies are erected dispropor- 
tionately. This, however, was for a pur- 
pose. There are localities where the wings 
of birds serve for defense, and in such 
places the wings were extended in order 
to protect the greater area. One such 
case may be seen in Mills Woods. See 
Fig. 46. Here one of the wings of the 
bird are stretched out nearly 600 feet. 
At Muscoda, there is a bird effigy which 
extends over 1,000 feet. In many other 
localities the same features may be 

(4.) We are to consider another point 
in this connection, and refer now to the 
bird effigies, which have been mistaken for crosses, dragons and 
man mounds. 

We have been particular in giving the peculiarities of the 
birds because no class of effigies has been so misinterpreted as 
this. The opinion seems to prevail that there are efiigies of 
crosses, dragons, bows and arrows and other figures, which are 
peculiar to both civilized and uncivilized races. It does not 
seem probable that the cross would be represented among the 
animal effigies of Wisconsin, but all the writers upon Emblem- 
atic Mounds have spoken of crosses in great numbers, and the 
mistake seems to be repeated continually. A writer who has 
just prepared some articles on prehistoric man, has kept up the 
delusion, and speaks of the crosses and dragons. We maintain 
that in every case where these writers have recognized the cross 
is where the bird is the effigy intended. We call special attention 
to this point. It seems singular that such mistakes should 
have been made, but it is owing to the fact that the shapes of 
the etbgies were not analyzed and compared with the shapes 
of the birds with sufficient care. If we observe the peculiarities 
of the birds in studying the effigies we shall be saved many 

Fig. 52. See Fig. 3, 
page 10; also Lapham's 
Antiq., Plate II. 



(i) T/ie Cross.— Dr. Lapliam, in his work which we have so often 
quoted, has represented that there were crosses and dragons and 
many human effigies among the emblematic mounds. It is notice- 
able that nearly every cross which he has described may be, when 
studied according to this rule, identified as a bird. The same is 
true of the so-called dragons, and even in most of the speci- 
mens of human effigies; for these, when resolved into their proper 
elements and analyzed carefully, have all proved to be birds. 
Perhaps it should be said that the wings of birds do have some 
resemblance to the arms of a cross, and occasionally the dra- 
gons and birds have resemblances to the upright parts, but the 
variations are very great. This, however, reveals to us the 
reason why Dr. Lapham has given such a variety to his so- 
called crosses, and why he has called 
some of the effigies crosses and some 
dragons. It appears that there are 
scarcely two crosses alike. Some- 
times they are represented with long ^ 
upright bars and sometimes short 
standards. The cross bar is some- 
times straight and sometimes curved ; 
again it is placed at an oblique angle, 
and at times exceeds in length the 

There are so-called crosses which 
have large full heads and a long taper- 
inir foot ; sometimes the head and 
foot and the cross bars and the arms 
are of equal length, axd in fact in 
nearly every shape. Fi 

The first place where Dr. Lapham 
thought he recognized the cross, was 
near the Milwaukee river. Here are 
two effigies of birds, probably wild 
geese. They are situated on the sum- 
mit of a hill, and are associated with a number of intaglio 
gies representing panthers. The group was intended, in 
opinion, to represent the animals which were common in 
vicinitv, and no idea of the cross ever entered the head of 
builders of the effigies. The use of the intaglios or excavated 
effigies was probably as a hiding place for hunters. The high 
mound was used as" an observatory and the bird effigies either 
as screens or as outlooks. The locality was formerly surrounded 
by a dense forest and the birds and beasts represented were 
such as were common among the forests. 

A second locality where birds have been taken for crosses was 
also near the Milwaukee river. (See Fig. 53.) Mr. L. L. Sweet 
surveyed the group, and sa3's, "The largest cruciform figure is 185 

I- S3- 

Crosses on the jVIilwaukee 



feet in length of trunk, the head 24 feet 
long; the arms 72 feet each; the height at 
the head, three feet 10 inches; at the cen- 
ter, 4 feet 6 inches. The shaft gradually 
diminishes to a point at the end; the ap- 
pearance is that of a cross sunk in light 
earth in which the extremity is still buried 
beneath the surface. Two round mounds 
near the foot of this cross are each three 
feet high, and 20 and 22 feet in diam- 
eter. A third effigy was discovered by 
Dr. Lapham, near Ft. Atkinson, closely 
associated with an intaglio effigy, and is 
compared to others situated at Waukesha 
and Crawfordsville. In this case, how- Fig. 54- 

ever, the bird represented resembles the 

prairie chicken, as the body is short and thick, and the 
arms much longer than the body. (See Fig. 51.) Another 
effigy (bird or cross), 52 feet in length of body, and 117 feet in 
extent of wings, was seen by Dr. Lapham, near Jefferson. The 
cross at Merton, Dr. Lapham says has the following dimen- 
sions, the length of each arm (or wing), 160 feet; length of the 
head, (upper part) (body), 51 feet, foot (neck), 175 feet and at 
the lower part an expansion. The author does not say what 
this expansion is intended for. The fifth cross is one with ob- 
lique arms. It was described by Dr. Lapham as situated near 
Fox Lake. He says, " On the west side of the stream is an ex- 
tensive group, containing a " cross," oblong and circular mounds,, 
one of the bird form, and two that were perhaps intended to 
represent the elk. Among the figures was a " cross," the arms 
of which were oblique, and one effigy forming a tangent to the 
cross, its outline resembling a war club." This group has now- 
disappeared, but judging from the figure wc should call the cross 
a bird and the " elks " rabbits. 

"There are sixteen mounds in cruciform variety at Horicon. 
They are not placed in any uniform direction, some having 
their heads turned toward the north and some toward the 
south. The form seen is exactly ^ 
the same as that seen on the Mil- ^ X 

waukee river. Of the mounds "^ X 

found in this locality, Dr. Lapham 
says, thev are the most extended s; 

and varied groups of ancient works, 
and the most complicated and intri- 
cate. They occupy the high bank 
of the river on both sides. Immedi- " 

ately above, the river expands into ^'ig 55- Cross at Horicon. 



a broad and shallow lake, extending twelve miles with a breadth 
of five miles. Immense numbers of fish and water fowls are to 
be found there. One of the crosses has the arms extended 
quite athwart the top of the ridge which is here flanked 
by the river and on the other side by an extensive 
marsh; near this cross are two large mounds twelve feet 
high and sixty-live feet m diameter. Near the cross which 
is given in figure 55, is a large conical mound and 
long mound, which regularly tapers for the distance of five 
hundred and seventy feet. This mound runs parallel with the 
line of the bluti'; the cross is at right angles. The location of 
the crosses near this lake and near the effigies of foxes, squir- 
rels and turtles, would lead to the opinion that the effigies were 
those of wild geese and not intended for crosses. At this place 
there are two composite^mounds, one of them on the east side of 
the river and one on the w^est side. The composit mounds are 
the central objects in both groups; the whole arrangement of 
the effigies, burial mounds and composit mounds, would indicate 
that the locality was used as a village site, and that the effigies 
were placed on the edge of the bluff for the purpose of defense. 
The cross has no significance in such a locality, but the wild gooss 
has. Another locality, supposed by Dr. Lapham to contain crosses 
is in the vicinity of Mayville; one group comprises thirtv-five 
mounds in various forms, and occupies a nearly level strip be- 
tween the base of a large ridge and brook. " We found 
here," Dr. Lapham says, " one of the largest and most regular 
turtle mounds three or four quadrupeds. The two crosses are 
directed toward the northeast, while the most of the other 
forms are in an opposite airection. Their arms are seldom 
•at right angles with the bod}^ nor are the two parts of the 
body or trunk in the same line; the head is always largest, 
highest, and rectangular in form." Dr, Lapham also says: 
''If these crosses are to be deemed evidence of the former 
existence of Christianity on this continent, as some have in- 
ferred, we may with almost equal propriety assert that Mo- 
hamedanism was associated with it, and as proof refer to the 
mound or ridge here presented in the form of a cresent." 
We suijcTest that the mound called a cresent was the effiofv of a 
duck, and that the mound called a cross was the effigy of a w^ild 
goose, for the description corresponds better with the ordinary 
effigies of that bird as seen in other localities. An- 
other cross, " as usual, with a direction opposite to that of 
other figures," is described as situated a little south of Mayville, 
on Section 26, "Here is a group of three mounds, of which 
the central one is doubtless intended to represent the trunk and 
arms of the human body." Here the author has mistaken the ef- 
figy of a pigeon whose head is so short as to be hardl}- visible 
for that of a headless man and the effigy of a wild goose for a 
cross, but recognizes the fourth figure as the effigy of an animal. 


The absurdity of such comparisons is too plain to be refuted. 
"At Lake Winnebago," Dr. Lapham says" is a 'cross,' some- 
times 'called a mnn,' but it wants the legs and the contraction of 
ihe neck seen in the mounds of human form." 

[2.] The Man Mounds. — There are many human effigies 
among the mounds, but, many of the so-called man mounds are 
nothing more or less than bird effigies. We propose to review 
Dr. Lapham's list of man mounds to show that in nearly every 
case he has mistaken a bird effigy and called it a man. The 
two effigies just referred to, are cases in point. There are other 
bird effigies which have some resemblance to the human figure; 
two such birds may be seen on the brow of the bluff near 
Honey Creek Mills. They are hawks rather than human effi- 
gies. See figure. 

" The human figure with its gigantic arms having a stretch 
of 288 feet," also described by Dr. Lapham as situated in Town 
8, Range 4. is but a bird effigy. This figure stands by itself in 
a valley or pass between two of the high sandstone bluffs, one 
of which rises immediately above the head. From, the site of 
this remarkable and lonely structure, the road leaves the valley 
of the Wisconsin. The figure here represented as the man 
mound has a head which bears a slight resemblance to the hu- 
man head, but has no legs, the only point of resemblance to the 
human effigy is in the arms, which are said to extend to a pro- 
digious length. " It is evident that the effigy is a bird placed 
in the pass as a guard for protection as the bird effigies at Honey 
Creek Mills are placed on the summit of a bluff to protect a 
similar pass. 

Another human effigy, though very deficient in the propor- 
tional length of the arms and legs, is depicted on the same 
plate with the above. There is said to be a companion mound 
similar to it, and the two are supposed to represent a male and 
female. These figures have no resemblance to human effigies. 
Dr. Lapham says: " It is to be observed that the difference 
between the mounds evidently birds, and those resembling the 
human form is but slight, so that it is sometimes not easy to 
decide which was meant by the ancient artists." The distinction 
between bird effigies and man mounds may be traced, if it is 
remembered, that the proportions between the arms and legs and 
body of the human being are generally closely observed in the 
man mounds. The arms are also blunt at the end, the head is 
generally well formed. 

[3] The Boxu and Arrow — There are effigies which have been 
taken for figures of the bow and arrow. One such is described 
by Dr. Lapham as situated on the Kickapoo river. It is a part 
of the group already described as a game drive, and forms the 

See page 68, plate XLII; also XLII, No. 2. 






end of the drive, which is nearest the pass in the bluff. It is 
attended by long mounds, which run parallel to it. See Fig. 

56. The so-called bow 
forms a right angle 
^ with the other mounds, 

the arrow running par- 
allel with them. In our 
opinion, it represents 
the crane rather than the 
bow and arrow. The 
crane has an extremely 
long neck, a small body, 
and very long, crooked 
wings. The writer has 
seen effigies of the crane 
at Lake Monona and 
Lake Koshkonong. In 
one case he saw the ef- 

Fig. 56. Bow and Arrow. 

figy of the crane and during the same day the live bird. It was a 
striking coincidence, and the resemblance between the effigy and 
the bird was noticed at once. The recurved shape of the wings 
of this bird makes it resemble a bow. The long, tapering form 
of the neck of the bird gives it a resemblance to the arrow. The 
whooping crane has a neck similar to this, and when in flight 
has wings which are curved in the same manner. The effigy was 
intended in our opinion, to represent the crane, though there is 
some plausibility in the idea that it represented the bow and 
arrow. An effigy similar to this has been seen by the writer, on 
the bank of Lake Monona, near the Shooting Park. 

[4.] The spear or arrozu foinl. An effigy of a bii'd formerly 
existed near Prairie du Chien. [Sec. 4, T. 8, R. 4 E.] This is 
regarded by Dr. Lapham as a barbed spear or arrow point. 
It is, however, a bird effigy intended to represent the night-hawk. 
The wings and tail are both pointed, but the body and wing 
feathers are wedge shaped as is the case with some kinds of 
birds. It is the only case where any effigy resembling a spear 
head has been seen. 

II. The second point to which we would call attention is as to 
the manner of representing the habits ot the birds. 1. It ap- 
pears that the builders of the mounds intended to represent the 
birds as in motion in the air. This is seen, not only in the 
shapes and attitudes of the effigies, but in an indefinable air 
which they carry with them. We have already stated that all 
of the animals are classified according to the elements in which 
they live, the representation of them in the mounds being such 
that the classes can be easily distinguished. It must be re- 
membered, however, that the land animals and the amphibious 
creatures are represented as having feet, their feet and legs 



being in the case of the land animals upon one side of the body 
and the others upon two sides. The birds' feet are never visi- 
ble in the mounds, the wings being the only distinctive mark. 
It seems strange that the wings could express the flight of the 
birds so well, for the earth is a poor material in which to depict 
so frail and so finely wrought a feature as the feathers of a bird. 
It will be noticed, however, that the outlined and general shapes 
of the wings are given with great truthfulness. An illustration 
of the skill of the mound builders may be seen in the celebrated 
eagle at Waukesha. See Fig. ^7. Here the imitative skill of the artist 


Fig. 57. Eagle Effigy on Bird Hill at Waukesha, 
is beautifully shown. The attitude is interesting as it is the one 
which is natural to the eagle, and shows the shape of the animal 
while in motion. The eagle is evidently flying or soaring in 
the air, but is at a great height as the wings arc stretched out 
in a straight line, and the whole attitude expressive of flight. 
The effigy also conveys the idea that the eagle is taking an out- 
look while preserving its flight as the shape and position of the 



head is sucrgestive of this. The bird seems to be in an isolated 
position. It is situated on the side of a hill and seems to be 
<-ruardino- a group of effigies consisting of the wolf and several 
conical mounds. Tt is, however, the only bird effigy in the group. 
The eagle is a bird which is distinguished for its lofty flight and 
for its extensive vision, and here both these peculiarities are 


This peculiarity of the birds may be recognized not only 
in the eagle, but in all of the birds. All seem to be in flight and 
the particular method of flight is exhibited by the mounds. 
There are birds which have a very rapid motion. Such birds 
are represented and the motion peculiar to them exhibited by 
the mounds. Other birds have several different styles in flying; 
they soar high above the earth; they dart rapidly through the 
air; they roll and tumble in their flight; they drop upon their 
prey; they arise from their perch, or spring from the water, and 
seem to vary their attitude with every changing motive. These 
are generally birds of prey. It is remarkable how many atti- 
tudes of the birds of prey are represented in the mounds. Any 
one who will examine the effigies and notice the different atti- 
tudes in which the birds are figured will realize this. There are 
many small birds which are seen among the effigies. Such 
birds are oftener represented as rolling and tossmg, the pe- 
culiar twist and turn of the wing being exhibited by the shape 
of the mound. The distortion of a bird effigy be- 
comes at times very expressive on this account, as the distor- 
tion represents the motion and attitude of the bird. We call 
attention to a small bird which was surveyed by Mr. Wm, 
H. Canfield, and which is figured by Dr. Lapham *. Here 
the bird is so contorted that every part of the effigy has a sepa- 
rate measure and a shape peculiar to itself. One wing raised, 
and the other dropped at an angle, the head is thrown back, the 
tail is twisted, and the whole figure thrown into shape as if tum- 
bling or rolling in the air rather than flying. Other birds are 
seen in attitudes as of darting rapidly, but this is peculiar in its 


2. The gregarious habits of the birds are represented in the 
effigies. The reader has only to look over tl\e figures to see 
how often the birds are thus represented. In these figures the 
hawks are in flocks, sometimes four effigies of them being seen 
in one group. The ducks are also in flocks, and the peculiar 
social habits of the birds are shown by the effigies, the ducks 
being in close proximity. The wild geese are in flocks also, but 
they pursue their flight either in a line following one another at 
considerable distances or nearly abreast of one another, but form- 
ing the peculiar shape of the drag or letter A. The pigeons are 

See Lapham's Antiquities. Plate XLVIII. 



also frequently represented in flocks, but they pursue their flight 
in a pell-mell method; sometimes following one another, some- 
times abreast and sometimes huddled closely together. The 
different birds are represented as associated together, but when 
the attitude is given they are driving or pouncing on one another,, 
or driving and be- 
ing driven. One 
needs only to look 
over the figures al- 
ready given to see 
how often the birds 
are thus represent- 
ed. We give a cut 
(Fig. 58) to illus- 
trate the_ gregari- 
ous habits of the I'ig- 5S. — Ilawks at Muscoda. 

birds. It is taken from Squier and Davis*. This group was 
first described by Mr. S. Taylor. It was situated in the village of 
Muscoda, but has been obliterated by the growth of the village. 
We quote the language of the author namtd. " In the group are 
three figures in the form of a cross (bird:); in the center of the 
largest of them is a depression caused by an Indian cache." 
" The distance from one end of this group to the other, is about 
four hundred and sixty yards. The length across the effigies is 
about two hundred feet." The birds here are of different kinds, 
a hawk and two birds which are difficult to identify, possibly 
pigeons. The hawk has an erect atitude white the other birds 
are in flight. 

3. The habits of the birds as birds of prey and peaceable birds 
are also portrayed by the effigies. It is well known that the song- 
sters are generally peaceable in their habits. The songsters are, 
however, so small that they are not often recognized in the effi- 
gies. The birds which are most easily recognized are the birds 
of prey. These are the hawks, eagles, owls and falcons. It is re- 
markable that the birds of prey are often associated with other 
animals which prowl after their victims and prey upon the living 
creatures about them, the eagles and hawks being associated 
with foxes and wolves, while the peaceable birds are associated 
with peaceable animals, ducks and cranes with turtles and lizards, 
ets. One group of mounds strikingly illustrates this point. It is a 
group which was evidently used as a game drive. In this the 
eagles and hawks are associated with foxes, and are evidently 
hovering near a drove of elk, both waiting for their prey, the 
foxes in the attitude of prowling and the birds soaring in the 

*See Smithsonian — Contributions. Plate 43, No. I. 




Fig- 59- 

having a 

Birds of pi-ey near a game drive, at 
Honey Creek — Lapham. 

We give a fig- 
ure to illustrate 
this point (Fig. 
59). It repre- 
sents a group 
which was sur- 
veyed by Dr. I. 
A. Lapham. It 
is situated on sec- 
tion 18-19, T. 9., 
R. 6. E., near 
Honey Creek 
Mills. The group 
is in a valley, be- 
tween sev eral 
high bluffs, and 
is in just such a 
position as would 
be best suited for 
a game drive. 
The elk was 
probably the 
game which was 
abundant in the 
region. These 
bird effigies are 
associated with 
the figure of a 
crane, the crane 


tion of the game 

drive. The birds 
may be recog- 
nized by their 
shapes, the hawk 
having a forked 
tail, the eagle 
square tail and short neck, but the crane having 
a very small body, a long neck and curved wings. These effi- 
gies have been misinterpreted by Dr. Lapham, for the hawk is 
said to represent a human effigy and the crane a bow and arrow. 
The same idea of hawks, eagles and other birds of prey being 
associated with game drives may be seen in the group on Kicka- 
poo river.* Here is a small herd of buffaloes. The buffaloes 
seem to be feeding, but the hawks are hovering near as if 
looking for prey among the drove. 

See American Antiquarian. Vol. VI, No. i, Fig. 



4. The habits of the birds, as prairie birds, water birds, 
and forest birds, are also depicted. This pecuharity is, 
however, shown by the effigies. It is well known that ducks 
and wild geese prevail among the lakes of Wisconsin. A group 
of effigies may be seen near Lake Wingra, overlooking the marsh 
and lake. There is in the group a wild goose and a duck in 
close proximity, both flying toward the water, and a long, taper- 
ing mound close by which may represent the fish. The habit 
of these birds is to feed in the marshes. The effigies studied in 
connection with the locality give this idea. There are several 
other effigies in the .group, such as an eagle and a swallow, and 
two land animals, all of them arranged on the side hill, parallel 
with the water, giving the idea that they were placed there as 
screens for hunters who were watching for geese and ducks 
which frequented the lake. (See Fig. 12, first paper.) 

Fig. 60 — Water Uirds tt Lake 

5. The habits of the birds as conquering and conquered are 
sometimes depicted by the effigies. In the group at Muscoda, 
already given, we have the hawk represented as a conqueror 
over the pigeon. (See Fig. 58.) 

In a group at Koshkonong the duck is chasing the swallow, 
and in other groups hawks and eagles are represented in attitudes 
as if they were chasing other birds, and still other groups, bit- 
terns and cranes and hawks are in flight, but the habits of the 
birds may be recognized in nearly all the groups, and the effi- 
gies become very interesting on this account. We have already 
referred to the association of birds with animals having the same 
character. This is significant, for the habits of the animals 
seem to correspond, the beasts of prey being associated with 
birds of prey ; the conquering animals, such as the panther, be- 
ing associated with the conquering birds; the water animals be- 



ing associated with water birds (ducks and wild geese), the forest 
animals (wolves and wild cats), with the forest birds (pigeons 
and hawks), the prairie animals (deer and buffalo), with the 
prairie birds. 

The habits of the birds are better represented in the effigies 
than in the cuts, for the effigies seem to have been erected with 
great care, and the more one studies the shapes, the more does 
their meaning come forth. If there is a double meaning, this 
never interferes with that which is perfectly natural. The sym- 
bolic is hidden underneath an imitative shape. The great skill was 
exercised in portraying the attitudes of the birds. No ordinary 
person could take the heaps of the earth and mould them into 
shape, so tha' the effigies could be understood, but here the very 
character of the birds is exhibited in the shape, so that we read 
the disposition, the habits, and even the particular intent of the 
bird pictured before us. It is most remarkable that the attitudes 
should be so expressive, but when studied attentively they grow 
in significance. 

III. The use, intent or significance of the bird effigies. 

We have given ihe description of the different birds and iheir 
shapes and Attitudes, and have seen that they were closely imi- 
tated by the effigies. There seems to be, however, in many 
of the bird effigies som.ething more than a mere imitation of 


1. In the first place the effigies are so extensive that we must 
suppose that they had some use. A great amount of labor was 
expended upon these objects. It seems hardly reasonable, that 
so much labor would be laid out upon mere objects of fancy. 
The size of the effigies is worthy of notice. Theie are bird 
etfigies which reach to the prodigious length of Cgo, Soo and 
even looo feet. Some of these are associated with artificial 
ridges, tapering mounds and other animal effigies in groups 
which cover many acres of ground. 

2. Composite Mounds. The idea that effigies are sometimes 
used with a double significance is shown by a unique class of 
mounds called composit mounds. These are apparently picto- 

Several composit figures have been described. One was situ- 
ated on the north bank of the Wisconsin river, and is called by 
Mr. S. Taylor the "citadel." It is composed of two effigies of 
birds, one of a buffalo, and three nondescript figures, the effigies 
forming a sort of fragmentary wall around several conical 
mounds, making an inclosure of about half an acre in area. The 
whole group is situated upon prominent ground, and may have 
been intended as an altar or sacrificial place, as the whole group 
gives the idea of sacredness as if the effigies were intended to 
guard the place of worship. 

The association of bird effigies with composit mounds may be 





seen also at Lake Horicon on either side of the river; in one 
the wild goose is in close proximity, in the other there is the figure 
of a battle ax and several bird effigies, while in the centre of the 
group is the coraposit mound, consisting of a nondescript figure, 
inclosure containing a sing/e mound being formed by the 

various portions of the group. 
It is not always the case that 
the inclosures contain burial 
mounds or altars, for the tri- 
angular inclosure which may 
be seen at Lake Koshkonong 
has no mound within it. The 
birds are placed at one side 
and the fishes form walls on 
two other sides, but some 
other purpose than a sacri- 
ficial one was the intent of this 

Fig. 6i. Composite Mound at Horicon. 

The figure of a composite mound is given herewith. It was 
discribed by Mr. S. Taylor.* It seems to be a combination of 
two figures, " one representing the buffalo, perhaps, and the 
other a man" (more likely an eagle). Immediately to the south- 
west and within 20 feet of this figure commences a series of 
mounds, mostly conical. 




Fig. 62. Composite Moundsv 

There are certain bird effigies which have evidence of 
a secondary or symbolic significance. Such an effigy was dis- 
covered by Mr. Canfield at Sauk Prairie. It had a mound near 
the body and under the wing. The bird is represented in the 
act of flying. The remark of Mr. Canfield is that it may be a 
messenger bird carrying something suspended from its beak in^ 
dicating the little mound placed below its wing. The mound is 

■' See Smithsonian Centribiitions. — I'late lAV, Page 133. 


small, seven feet in diameter 
and less than a foot in height. 
Illustrations of this point are 
given by certain inscriptions. 

Dr. Lapham says perhaps 
the purpose is to represent the 
bird as bearing to the spirit- 
land, some person whose re- 
mains were deposited in the 
mound. Such effigies of birds 
attended with conical mounds 
near the wing are quite com- 
mon. Three such effigies may 
be seen among the so-called 
crosses. A bird effigy similar 
to this, but having the wings 
extended at great length, may 
'^"•'"""m„„„,„„,^m„miii>'^'^'^'\ be seen on the banks of Lake 

^ I Koshkonong. Here the bird's 


wings form with other effieries 

/ a long line or wall, a row of 

/^ burial mounds in the rear of 

/' ihem forming another or a 

\ double line of mounds. The 

'\ \ mound placed under the wing 

\ '^ as if protected by the bird, is, 

\ \ however, a large one, and may 

\ \ have been intended as an al- 

\ \ tar or a burial place. There 

\ \ is no doubt that a double sig- 

, ^ nificance was given to the effi- 

\ \ gies of this class. The attitudes 

\ are natural, but the wings 

seem to protect the burial or 

altar mounds, as if birds were 



T^- ^ tr ^ -i ■ •. f guardians or protectors of the 

r ig. 63. Hawk canving the spirit 01 o ^ 

thedeid. dead. 

Illustrations of this point are ^iven by certain inscriptions. 
An inscribed figure from West Salem, represents a bird as spring- 
ing out from the cresent of the moon. This figure is probably 
modern, the work of the later Indians. It shows, however, that 
there was a meaning in the figures. In this case the effigy was 
designed to represent the thunder bird. The difference in repre- 
senting the birds by inscriptions, and by effigies, will be noticed. 
In the mounds there are no legs attached to the bird effigies. 
In the inscriptions the legs are both marked, even the claws and 
toes. The topknot is also portrayed, the mouth is open, a peculi- 
arity which is seen in other members of the samepictograph. The 



Open moLitU is evidently 
a sign of speech. The 
symbolic meaning of the 
bird is evident from all 
these peculiarities. No 
such representation of 
thunder birds have been 
seen in the effigies. If 
there are crescents in the 
mounds, they have not 
been recognized. The 
sign of speech is never 
perceptible among the ef- 
figies. There are, howev- 
er, effigies of birds which 
seem to have a symbolic 
sigificance, and which in- 
scriptions and traditions 
may assist us in under- 
standing. The thunder 
bird was very common in 
North America. It ap- 
pears in the totem posts 
of the north-west coast. It 
figures conspicuously in 
traditions, and is likely to 
have been symbolized in 
the mounds. 
5. The evidence that the bird effigies were intended as guards 
to protect inclosures is given by many other groups. There are 
effigies of eagles where the wings are stretched out in a line to 
an unnatural length. The manifest intent being to make the wings 
serve as a wall. An illustration of this may be seen at Lake 
Monona in Mills' woods. See Fig. 46. Here may be seen ten 
or twelve effigies of birds, the effigies being arranged along the 
two sides of an irregular inclosure, one series of them on the 
edge of the bank, the other on thesummit on the opposite side of 
the woods. Here one bird has wings extended for six hundred 
feet. The wings reaching from one group of turtles to another; 
the turtles being situated where they could serve as outlooks, 
but the wings of the eagle form with the effigies in front of it a 
double wall of defense. On the opposite side there are conical 
mounds, effigies of hawks, wild geese and two long tapering 
mounds, running parallel with one another, and apparently 
forming an entrance to the inclosure. The group forms a very 
interesting series of works as it gives rise to the idea that the 
effigies were used for different purposes. The eagles for protec- 
tion, the turtles for lookouts, and the hawks also serving as 

Fig. 63. Thunder Bird. 


guards. It is noticeable that on one side of the enclosure the 
effigies are placed at the intervals between them and are over- 
lapped by birds, so that there is a continuous wall ; on the other 
side the intervals are left unprotected. The inclosure may ha\e 
been intended for a game drive or for a village. 



In studying the emblematic mounds we have thus far 
considered them irom a scientific stand point, having given espe- 
cial attention to their shapes, and b)^ their shapes having identi- 
fied the animals represented. We now turn to another aspect 
of the subject and propose to consider the mounds as works of 
art. In doing so we shall give attention to the attitudes of the 
animals represented and in these find the evidence of artistic 
skill. It is a very interesting fact that the attitudes of the 
animals arc presented to us by the mounds in a vSry life-like 
manner, so that the effigies are exceedingly attractive as works 
of art. The study of the mounds is in fact like a study of 
animated nature. It not only brmgs before us the grand di- 
visions of the animal kingdom and suggests methods of classifi- 
cation according to the haunts and habits of the animals, which 
are very suggestive, viewed in a scientific light, but it brings 
before us their peculiar attitudes and positions, which prove 
attractive to the eye, viewed in an artistic sense. We do not say 
that they were intended as works of art, or that the build- 
ers of the mounds were trained artists whose effort was to 
make them artistic, any more than we maintain that they 
were educated scientists acquainted with the classification 
of science; but this is the fact concerning them, the builders of 
the effigies were both naturalists and artists who were uncon- 
scious of their knowledge and skill, and their works are more 
interesting because of their very naturalness. It is one effort 
of art to reach the point of naturalness, so that the expres- 
siveness and simplicity of nature may come forth free from the 
factitious and artificial appearance. Here, however, we have 


a native art which presents this pecuHarity to perfection, 
the skill of the builders having been exercised in the most 
natural way and the objects wrought out by them coming before 
us in the most natural and life-like shapes. It is worthy of no- 
tice that art existed among the primitive races, and that in some 
directions it reached a high degree of perfection, even at a very 
early period. For skill in portraying the animal shapes, the 
primitive artists were even superior to many of the modern and 
trained sculptors and painters. 

We do not need to dwell upon this point, but would merely 
say that the earliest specimens of art in all countries have 
abounded with animal figures, and that the period which may 
be considered the child-like age of the race has furnished man}' 
beautiful specimens of art, showing that there is a natural faculty 
in the human race, which enables men, even when untrained, to 
imitate animal forms. The relics which have come to us from 
rude and uncivilized people often present specimens of carving 
and drawing which are absoluteh' astonishing. The earh' 
coins of Greece and Troy contain animal figures; the sculptures of 
Assyria, Babylon, and Egypt, also contain the statues of animals, 
which, viewed in an artistic light, are admired b}- all classes. 
The specimens of pottery, the carved pipes of the mound builders 
contain animal figures. The totem posts, carved boats, and the or- 
namented implemen'is found among the Thlinkeets of the north- 
west coast illustrate the same point. The art of carving animal 
figures reached a high point among these races. The same 
thing is true with the inhabitants of Mexico and Central Amer- 
ica. The sculptured facades of their palaces abound with ani- 
mal shapes and the carved idols and images present manv 
animal figures. One explanation of this is that the native races 
were familiar with animal life, and as the^• had much imitatiN-e 
skill they were able to portray the animals in a natural and life- 
like manner. Another explanation is that the so-called animal 
worship which prevailed among the primitive races, gave them 
a great admiration for animals, and led them to notice and to be 
impressed by the shapes and attitudes of the animals. They were 
regarded by them as divinities, and their moods were considered 
to be expressive of the mind of the Divinity and conveyed to their 
superstitious minds great awe and fear. This fact throws light 
upon the specimens of art with animal figures which have come 
down to us from the early and primitive times. A com- 
parison between the carved bone implements taken from the 
caves of Europe wath the bone implements found among the 
Esquimaux proves that the primitive races were skillful m drawing 
animal shapes. The same conclusion, we think, will be reached 
by our readers when they come to see how skillful the emblematic 
mound-builders were in the same work. The writer has come 
in contact with native artists at the west, and found that their 


skill in depicting animals was perfectly natural, and noticed that 
it seemed easy for them to not only draw the shape of an 
animal but to give it an expressive attitude. Travelers and 
early settlers who were in this state while the Indian races were 
still inhabitinir it, have also informed the writer that they have 
seen the bark huts or wigwams lined on the inside with animal 
figures, the figures being very life-like and showing that the 
naiives had great skill in drawing. We do not consider then, 
that the animal effigies prove an)' high degree of cultivation, 
even if they are artistic in their shapes, but they are interesting, 
as they bring before us the native artists in all their 
unconscious skill and make us to see how familiar these 
artists w^ere with animal life. We do not think that 
there w^as any set rule by which the effigies were erected or 
that any established order or st\-le of representing the animals 
existed-, for everything seems to be perfectly natural, and the 
perfection of the artist is that they were so artless. 

The attitudes of the animals illustrate a point worth}' of no- 
tice. The animals come before us as illustrations ot animated 
nature and the scene becomes as full of life almost as it the 
animals were restored to the native haunts. Nothing can 
present to us a greater variety nor a more interesting study 
than the effigies do. The several points to which we shall 
refer will illustrate the artistic skill of the emblematic mound 
builders. Our readers will, however, consider that 
this skill is not to be brought before them by pen or 
paper. The descriptions which we shall give are mere hints. 
The skill exhibited by the artists can be appreciated only by ex- 
amining the effigies themselves. There are effigies in existence 
which retain the original shape and symmetry, and such convey 
an idea of artistic beauty which is not given by the ordinary 
specimens. We are aware that many, who look upon the effi- 
gies obliterated by time as they are, and in the midst of the 
works of civilization, fail to see the resemblances to the attitudes 
of animals which we have described, but these descriptions are 
not taken from obliterated mounds, and are not based upon the 
imperfect data with which many come in contact. Familiarity with 
the mounds from childhood has given the writer an idea of their 
symmetry, which few get by passing ob'^ervation. When we 
speak of the attitudes, we speak not so much from what we have 
stew in any particular locality, but from what we have seen in 
many localities, so that the points which we make are percepti- 
ble to us while they are imperceptible to others. We do not 
think the descriptions overdrawn or the resemblances imaginary. 

I. The first point to which we refer is the variety con- 
tained in the attitudes of the animals. We furnish a series 
of cuts to show how the different animals are made to 
assume a great variety of attitudes. The series might be 


indefinitely increased, for if there is one thing more percepti- 
ble than another in the effigies, it is this, that the attitudes 
are so varied. We confine ourselves mainly to the land 
animals, and give only a few specimens of these. There is, 
however, scarcely a group of effigies in the state in which new 
attitudes are not perceptible, and we therefore only hint at the 
point, and refer our readers to the mounds themselves as illus- 
trations. The descriptions and figures are based upon an accu- 
rate and careful survey. 

The writer has found by experience that the plotting of the 
mounds by actual measurement, always brings out the attitudes 
of the animals, and has frequently corrected his own drawings 
by a second measurement. We take the bear as a specimen, 
but would say, there are many other effigies which illustrate the 
point even better than the bear. We find that there are five or six 
attitudes in which this creature is represented, each efiigy be- 
ing expressive of some attitude which is natural with the bear. 

Fig. 65. 

Fig. 66. 

The shape of the animal, is natural and life-like, but the attitudes 
exhibit the various dispositions or moods of the bear, showing 
that the artists were familiar with all the habits of the animal 
and were very skillful in representing them. 

Some of these figures are taken from the works of Squier and 
Davis. One was situated in Richland county, and was first de- 
•scribedby Mr. R.Taylor. It was fifty-six feet long and twenty 






^^nW miBHHH-mtiiimiuiun" *""* 

Fig. 67. 


Fie. 68. 

inches high. The second was discovered at Blue River, on 
English Prairie. It was eighty-four feet long and six feet high. 
The third was discovered by Dr. I. A. Lapham. It formerly ex- 
isted at Honey Creek, and represents the bear as in the attitude of 
climbing. The fourth was found by Dr. Lapham, at Otter Creek. 
The effigy does not resemble the bear so much as the other fig- 


ures, and yet was intended to represent one attitude of the animal. 
jThe fifth was also discovered by Dr. Lapham, and was found 
by him at Sauk Prairie.* A similar effigy has been discovered by 
the author at Lake Monona. The sixth was described by Dr. De 
Harte. It was found by him on the Asylum grounds, north of 
Lake Mendota. These are all isolated effigies, and cannot be 
said to have any other use than as representations of the ani- 
mals, though it is possible that they were employed as totems. 
The bear was a common totem among the native races, and its 
form was often used in native heraldry to indicate the clan or 
tribal connection of individuals or families. The effigy of the 


Fig. 69. 

bear placed on the ground near the residence of some chief or 
prominent person, may have represented the totem or clan sign 
of the chief, very much as the totem posts found in the north- 
west coast, and among the Aleutian Lslands do at the present 
time. This may also explain the attitudes of the animals as they 
are seen in the effigies. We know that pictures of animals were 
frequently placed on the grave posts, and that the attitudes of 
the animal became expressive of the incidents or events in the 
history of the individual. There are many illustrations of this. 
Schoolcraft has given cuts representing the totems of the Sioux 
and Chippewas.' He says: " The grave board contains the sym- 
bolic, or representative figure which records, if it be a warrior, 
his totem; that is to say /the symbol of his family or surname, 
or such arithmetical or other devices as seem to denote how 
many times the deceased has been in war parties, and how 
many scalps he has taken from the enemy, two points on which 
the reputation is essentially based." The attitudes of the animal, 
then were probably significant, and the variety of the attitudes 
is worth noticing on this account. We need only to remember 
thatt he natives'had the same love of approbation that civilized 
people have. If they could not record their deeds by written 
language, they could', nevertheless, make them known by pic- 
tures. We may conclude the animal shape as expressive of 
the clan or tribal connection, and that the altitudes were ex- 
pressive of personal history. The efligy was a totem 

See Smillisoniaii Contribulions, Vol. I, Plate XLIII. Also Laphani's Antiquities. 


showing the tribal connection, and a symbol showing what 
divinity had appeared to the chief in his dreams. It would also 
represent the legend or traditionary record of the individual, 
and would serve as a sort of picture writing, which to the na- 
tive eve would be expressive of the life, character and history 
of the individual. There are etiigies of this kind which were 
placed in the midst of village inclosures. They apparently 
serve no othrr purpose than to mark the spot where some per- 
son had once dwelt, and where possibly he was buried. 

As an illustration of this point, we would refer to a locality 
near Madison. Here, on the ground formerly owned by Gov. 
Washburn, is what we have taken as the site of an ancient 
village, the walls surrounding the place giving indications to 
this effect. There are at this place various effigies, which are 
scattered over the surface of the ground, without regard to 
their use, either as defense or lookout, giving the idea that 
they may have been totems in front of some habitation. 
Among the effigies so situated is a bear, a bird, two rabbits, two 
lynxes and a panther. See Figs. 71 and 72. Some of these effigies 









Fig. 71 — Panther and Lynx. Lake Wingra. I'KK.r. 

are situated on the edge of a swail, indicating that they were used 
as partial guards, but others, those of the rabbit and hare, are 
situated in the midst of the so-called village. The attitudes of 
the effigies are all of them indicative of a peaceful condition. 
The panther crouches as if at rest, the bird soars in the air, and 
the lynx stands quietly, every effigy having the same expressive 
attitude, the indication being that village life was here enjoyed. 
The totems of the village were placed at the very doors of 
the houses, as if they were enjoying the security and the vil- 
lagers were themselves partaking of their peaceful mood. 



The ancestor worship which prevailed, would account for the 
location of the effif^ics. It was a superstition amon^ the natives 
that the spirit of the dead remained near the ^rave, and great 
care was taken to appease the spirits and to keep them at peace 
with the living. There was also an endearment which led to 
the burial of the distinguished dead close by the living. A 
sense of protection was secured by the presence of the effigy of 
5ome prominent person. The emblematic mounds were fre- 
quenth' burial mounds, and, as such, were at times scattered in- 
discriminately over the surface of the earth. This, then, is the 
first use of the effigy to which we would refer. Confirmatory 
of this we might speak of the great number of effigies which 
are thus found scattered about without any apparent order or 

Fig. 72. Bear and Rabbit at Lake Wingra. 

We take an illustration of this from the survey of Mr. W. H. 
Canfield, who was an early settler in the state, and a great stu- 
dent of the emblematic mounds. He has depicted a group of 
effigies which formerly existed on the banks of the Bara- 
boo River, close by the village of Baraboo, See Fig. 73. 
It is a remarkable group, but has now nearly disappeared. 
It will be noticed that in these localities a great variety of ani- 
mals is portrayed and that the animals are given in a very dif- 
ferent attitudes. The four-footed creatures abound here more 
than birds. Among these the most prominent are the weasel 

Note. This cut illustrates the difficulty in getting the attitudes of the effigies. 
The rabbit and the hare are both represented in effigies at this place, but the meas- 
urement and plotting failed in the first instance to give the attitudes of the animals. 
A future paper will contain figures of these effigies from measurements, and it will be 
seen from them how skillful the native artists were in flepicting the attitudes of these 
animals. The rabbit is so difficult to portray, that Dr. Laphani always failed to even 
recognize the animal. We claim to have recognized the animal by the shape and the 
attitude but we have failed in depicting these in the drawing. 



and the fox, though the buffalo and panther may be recognized. 
It is noticeable that the weasel is found in more diverse attitudes 
than most other animals."' Perhaps the shape f the animal 
itself favors this. The author has found the weasel in several 
localities; one on the banks of Lake Wingra, on the Wash- 
burn place; another on the north bank of Lake Mendota, east of 
the Insane Asylum. Mr. Canfield has located an Indian council 
house in the midst of one group of the effigies, and judging 
from the locality, we should say that it may have been not only 
the site of a council house, with the modern Indians 
as he has described it, but also the place where the 
Mound Builders themselves had a council house. The 
arranf^ement of the effii^ies on the banks of the stream beneath 
the bluff and near the burial places is worthy of attention. It 
is possible that some significance was given to the effigies and 
that they served as a kind of picture writing, a tribal record 
being given by them as well as the tribal signs. It would seem 
from the number of the tumuli, that these effigies were personal 
totems, and it may be that the attitudes of the animals were 
intended to convey an idea as to the persons who were buried. 
The shape of the animal would give the tribal sign but the 
attitudes would give the personal names. Burial mounds 
have been found having the shape of animals. One such was 
excavated by Prof. Putnam. This was situated at La Crosse, 
and is described by him as having the shape of a turtle. 
Another burial mound having the same shape, was excavated 
several years ago by Prof. Eaton of Beloit College, and Mr. 
Heg, now editor of the Geneva Herald. This was situated 
near Beloit amid a group of effigies, all of which were probably 
burial mounds. This group is prominently situated on the 
summit of a hill overlooking the Rock river, and is not distant 
from the group which may be seen on the college grounds. 
The totemic character of the effigies is one which seems to 
correspond with the habits and customs of the native tribes, 
and is a reasonable explanation of the variety of animal shapes 
and attitudes. One of the most important points in connection 
with the native religion was the doctrine of the spirits ot the 

*N()TK — The author visited the locality during the summer of 1883, in company 
with Mr. F. W. Putnam and J. Kimljall, and discovered a few of the effigies 
in the group, but found that a large proportion had disajii^eared. 
The group represented in figure 73 is on Mr. Remington's farm, and ad- 
joins the town plot east of ]5araboo. A street passes through the group and nearly 
all of the mounds have been obliterated. Those who visit the grouj) will notice how 
the line of the street has cut across and taken out the most prominent figures, leav- 
ing only the weasel and the bird. The drawing by Wm. H. Canfield settles the point 
M-hich the writer maintained in reference to the animal intended by one of the 
figures, namely the weasel. It illustrates the fact that familiarity witli the effigies 
trains the eye to a f|uick recognition of the animal intended. We maintain that 
an ordinary surveyor is unfit to enter the field and to give a proper representation 
of the animals. Mr. Canfield is a surveyor, but he is familiar with the mounds, and 
his representations are entirely reliable. 


dead. The natives supposed that the animals were ancestors 
and that they had great control over their destin}'. The totems 
were then expressive, both of the tribal organism and of the 
tribal ancestry. Along with this notion of an animal ancestry, 
there was connected another, namely, that of a divinity. The 
animal divinities were supernatural creatures, who ruled in the 
realms of the spirit. They were not only divinities, but they 
were also the spirits of the dead. The doctrine prevailed that 
the spirits of the dead entered into animals or took animal 
shapes. The rudimentary form of all religion, Mr. Herbert 
Spencer says, is the propitiaiion of dead ancestors. The custom 
of worshiping the dead was common. One of the most im- 
portant religious ceremonies of the Ojibwas was the feast of 
the dead, in which they kindled a hre at the graves, and 
burned meat as sacritice to the dead. The Virginians 
also worship the manes of those buried in their tumuh. 

There is no doubt then that the presence of the animal effi- 
gies in connection with the burial place was significant of the 
religious faith and that the custom of erecting these effigies 
sprang fro"-> their animal worship. Perhaps* this will explain 
the care with which the effigies were constructed. It is re- 
markable with what skill the effigies were shaped. This skill is 
mainly exercised in depicting the attitudes. A soul or spirit 
was thrown into these so that the effigies became very expres- 
sive. The religious faith expended itself upon these works, but 
the faith apprehended the spirit and sought to delineate it in the 
effigy. Animal spirits were worshipped and feared, and what- 
ever could express that spirit had great power over the people. 
There is no doubt then that the attitudes were made to illus- 
trate the spirit of the animal. This gave a naturalness to the 
attitudes. The people were very impressible. The religion which 
they had, made them so, even if they were not naturally im- 
pressible. The skill of the artist is in his impressibility and in 
his power in reaching or effecting the impressibility of others. 
The natives were on this account true artists. Just as the religi- 
ous emotions in the times of Raphael and Guido gave such a 
wonderful charm to the face of women, the mariolatry of the 
period having almost apotheosized womanly beauty, so in 
this period of animal worship and demonolatry the religious 
sense gave a wonderful expressiveness to animal shapes. 

The wild sons of the forest were more impressible than we. 
True children of nature, they drank in the spirit of the scenes. 
Their untutored mind had no knowledge ot Divinity, except as 
they saw it m the forms of nature. In a sense, the earth itself 
was a Divinity, just as it was to the ancients, the great mother 
Demeter ruling over all, ;vhile the sun, as the father, was the 
over-shadowing power. To them there was a soul in everything; 
every cloud that cast its shadow across the sky, every change 


that came upon the blue-waved lake, every season that left its 
foot-step in field or forest, was but the varied movement of their 
great Divinity. The smiling meadow, the darkening forest, the 
rustling leaf, everything in nature was expressive to them. We 
may, however, find the same impression; the scene remains and 
the effigies bring back the animals to people the scene. 

As a picture of animal life, these groups are worthy of study. 
It is like entering into the haunts of the animals and observing 
them as they move and act in their natural conditions. The 
attitudes are not conventional, and do not present the animals in 
stereotyped manner, but a wonderful freedom is displayed. The 
artists have great skill in throwing spirit and life into the atti- 
tudes of the animals. They are none of them constrained or 
unnatural, but they move before us in all their native force, each 
animal acting out its own disposition, and each attitude having 
some apparent intent before it. It is very interesting to go into 
the midst of these effigies to see how varied every attitude 
is, and how true to nature every shape becomes. The scene 
is alive with animals, every animal being represented in the 
most expressive attitudes. These attitudes both represent the 
natural pose of the animals, either as rampant or as crouching, 
as prowling after or pouncing upon their prey, as either antago- 
nistic in conflict, or as victim and victorious. One sees the bird 
in flight, chased by one deadlier, or soaring peacefully with out- 
spread wings, or again as darting through the air, or occasion- 
ally with weary wings lagging in the flight. The crane has 
the crook in his neck which the hunter knows to be peculiar to 
the crane; the night hawk swoops in the way peculiar to that 
bird; the pigeon flies with sharp, quick wing; the eagle soars 
with stately measure; the wild geese fly in flocks or follow one 
another in line; the hawk chases his prey with savage bill; the 
king bird hangs close to the weary wing of the long winged 
heron or crane. So too of the other animals; the turtle crawls 
up from the channel of creek or river, and rests on the brow 
of the hill, or stretches neck and tail on its very summit. The 
lizard spreads out his crooked legs and narrow body and taper- 
ing tail; the tadpole almost wiggles before one's eyes; the bull- 
pout flops his tail, and his crooked body lies panting on the hill; 
the snake twists his narrow body along the ridge; the otter lies 
with snout protruded ready for his slide; the fox creeps 
stealthily; the mink drags his long and slender body along; the 
crawfish spreads his claws, and the skeptical critic stands and 
says where did you see all this ? It may be seen, nevertheless. 
The attitudes are indeed the most expressive and important part 
of the animal forms. These attitudes were the expressions 
of the spirit of the animals as they were known, but they were 
also expressions of something more. If the mounds had any 
significance this imitation itself conveyed the meaning. 




It is not possible that all these thousands of elaborate and 
massive forms were designed only for the fancy and as a play- 
thing thrown upon the top of the earth. There is too much variety 
and too much expression for this. The attitudes then, had a signifi- 
cance as well as the forms. There was the work of imagination 
in the attitudes, but it was probably an imagination controlled by 
their superstition. We come to the religious significance 
of the mounds and say, did we know more of this we would 
know much more of the significance of the forms. 

There is one peculiarity about the animal effigies, and that is 
that the artist and the hunter were united in their construction, 
and thev present to us animal life in all its natural state, and 
with the very wildness which once existed. This has, however, 
departed, and tlierefore the picture given by the mounds is the 
more valuable. Sportsmen spend days and weeks upon the 
banks of these lakes, but they rarely become familiar with the 
habits of the animals. A few may come to undc'stand in a 
verv limited extent the habits and ways of the birds, but ihe 
w^ild animals have so departed from the region that supreme 
ignorance prevails concerning them. A menagery may bring 
a few animals from distant countries, and imprisoned and con- 
strained as they are, they are looked upon by the crowds. In 
the zoological gardens, birds and wild beasts are less constrained, 
but even here we see ver}^ little of ihe true nature ot the ani- 
mals. The collecting of the animals according to locality, so as to 
correctly represent the fauna of our countr}^ is a work which 
must necessarily interest intelligent persons. One of the 
most attractive features about the Centennial exhibition was 
that in the Colorado building. Here was a collection of the 
wild animals which abound in that state, the animals all being 
represented as they were seen by the huntress in their natural 
haunts. The collection was prepared by a woman, and proved 
how near to nature's heart a woman may become when she 
enters into the real spirit of nature. 

This method of studying the animals has not been followed 
as thoroughly as it deserves. Naturalists, as a class, are 
not acquainted with the habits and haunts of the animals, 
and are poor in their representation of animal life. They under- 
stand the anatomical peculiarities, and can describe the physical 
structure of the animals, but artists are much better acquainted 
with the attitudes and moods. The native hunters, however, 
were artists as well as naturalists. They differed from modern 
sportsmen in that they became familiar with the very haunts of 
the creatures which they portrayed. They followed the animals 
and entered into their inmost life. Their zeal was expended in 
tracking the animals to their inmost hiding place. The more 
intractable the animals were, the more their ardor was aroused. 
The inmost principle of wildness was understood by them, and 



corresponded to that of the animal. The mound builder was a 
hunter. He knew all about the animals. There was a sympathy 
between him and the creatures which he depicted. There is no 
doubt that there was an admiration for the very form and atti- 
tude which led to the shaping of the effigies. The effigies are 
of colossal size and have great artistic excellence and original- 
ity. They are unique and true to nature. A sculpture gallery 
is furnished by these earth forms which is unequalled by any 
works of art. We only need to divest ourselves of the impres- 
sions which the fields and houses make, to feel that it is a gallery 
full of life and one which conforms to the scenery. " The ar- 
tist understood how to translate pose into meaning and action 
into utterance,. and selected those poses and actions which con- 
vey the broadest and most comprehensive ideas of the subject." 
" He not only knows the posture or movement, the anatomical 
structure of the animal renders possible, but he knows precisely 
in what degree such picture or movement is modified by the an- 
imal's physical needs and instincts." There is a subtle and 
deep meaning to the effigies. At first there is the simple ani- 
mal, too simple to be artistically interesting, but upon further 
study a deeper meaning appears in the attitudes. " The simple 
animal avouches his ability to transcend any conception of him. 
The instinct and capacity which inform all of his proceedings, 
the sureness and efficiency of his every manifestation are in the 
shapes, but they are concealed from a hasty glance by the very 
perfection of their state. Once seen and comprehended, how- 
ever, they work upon the mind of the observer with an 
ever increasing power. They, lead him into a new, .strange and 
fascinating world, and generously recompense him." Very few 
understand what perfection there was originally in these colossal 
figures, carved out of the earth and covered with the green 
sward. They seem to move under one's feet. Artists occasionally 
enter the wild fastnesses of the west, and become familiar with 
the wild animals, that they may represent them in works of 
art. Painting and sculpture have both been devoted to the 
representation of animal figures. Such artists as have given 
attention to this subject have been admired. The paintings of 
Catlin are known and admired because of their excellence in 
portraying animal life. The government has purchased these 
at ^reat expense and placed them in the museum, where they are 
safe. The recent review of the statuary by Kenney, in a popu- 
lar journal,* has called attention to the beauty which the animal 
figures and attitudes that the animals have when shaped in 
bronze, but here we have in the earth-molds animal figures 
which are life-like and true to nature as any artist can make 
them, and yet we are careless in reference to their preservation, 
and their destruction is inevitable. As works of art and pictures 

*The Century for May, 1884. Article by Julius Hawthorne. 


of the native fauna we think these figures are invaluable, and 
make our plea that they be preserved. It always seems 
a o-reat pity to have them disturbed. The wear of the elements 
has a tendency to destroy the sharpness of their outlines, but 
it did not take away from the wildness or naturalness of the 
attitudes. The plow and the spade are the great disturbers of 
nature. The relic hunter is the iconoclast. Utility and curios- 
ity have invaded nature's art gallery and have made sad havoc. 
The images are many of them destroyed. 

II. We call attention to a second point in connection with 
the attitudes of the animals. The distinguishing peculiarity is 
that they have a hidden significance, and were expressive of 
the superstitious views with which the people regarded the an- 
imals. ' 

The significance of the attitudes may not be understood, but 
when viewed in connection v\ith the moods of the animals and 
especially with relation to the office which they served they be- 
come expressive of a hidden meaning. The moods of the ani- 
mals are depicted in the attitudes presented by the effigies, but 
these moods are expressive of something more. It is interesting 
to go from group to group, and to see how expressive every 
effigy is. If the language or intent may not be read or under- 
stood, the animal attitudes at least prove attractive to the eye. 
The moods of the animals are exhibited — not by a single group, 
for it is seldom that the same attitude is repeated more than once, 
but passing from group to group we see the different moods. 
In this place the effigy presents the animal in a standing posture, 
quiet, symmetrical, and with a poise which is expressive of the 
animal's strength. In another the creature is in conffict, either 
confronting an animal of the same kind read}' for battle or in the 
attitude of conflict, such as would be most natural to the species 
or perhaps as triumphing over the enemy and driving it from 
the field. In another place the attitude is expressive of motion, 
every part of the animal giving the idea of fleetness, as if the 
creature was in the midst of a chase. Such effigies are gener- 
ally found in connection with groups which are supposed to 
have been used for game drives. In other places the animal is 
seen in the attitude of prowling, the figure having a peculiar, 
stealthy appearance \\\\h the limbs bent and every part strained 
for close attention. In other places, still, the same animal ma}- be 
seen, resting, the body and head and limbs all being in a relaxed 
and restful state. In other places the effigy will be seen stand- 
ing guard over the caches which are placed near its head or 
presenting its massive sides as a defense to an inclosure, the 
wall to which is composed in part of its figure. Everywhere 
the attitude of the animal is most life-like, bat the mood and 
spirit are depicted in a very artistic manner. 

We present a series of cuts to illustrate these points. We have 
taken the panther as the specimen best calculated to represent 


this. These eflRgiLS have been noticed and their shapes 
and attitudes studied by the author, and the tigures are here 
presented from actual surveys. They are not the works of 
ima<;ination, for tney are drawn accordins^ to actual measure- 
ment. The iifTures are taken from widely separated localities, 
but they are given as they were found. 

It should he said that effigies are generally found to differ 
in different locahties, some localities presenting panthers numer- 
ously, but others presenting some other animal with the same 
prominence. A ruling divinity is always confined to a locality. In 
one place it ma}' be the eagle, in another the turtle, in another 
the panther, in another the wild goose, and in still another the 
raccoon or wolf. The attitudes of the animals will be seen, 
' not in any single group, but by studying the various groups, as 
all the groups are characterized by the presence of the ruling 
divinity, one group furnishing one attitude and another an- 
other, the whole series giving a history of the Divinity or 
showing how varied his moods were. The figure presented 
on Fig. 7|, is an etBgv which was discovered by Dr. Lapham, 
at Waukesha, on Bird Hill. It presents the panther in an atti- 
tude which is verv common. 

ftimi iitivmiiimn&liiitmfiff 


Fig. 74. Panther at Waukesha — Lapham. 

The author has seen effigies of the same kind in many locali- 
ties: one at Great Bend, serving as a guard or part of a village 
wall of defense; others at Madison forming portions of a long 
line of effigies, which surmounts an elevated ridge near the 
cemetery; another, having the same attitude, is a member of a 
group which abound with panthers, situated near Beloit. This 
attitude is the one which may be regarded as expressive of 
strength, and it is often, accordingly, seen in connection with the 
works of defense, as it is appropriate for such works. 

., A second attitude is given 
by figure 75. This is also a 
common attitude, There are 
several localities where the same 
figure has been seen by the au- 
thor, and Dr. Lapham has men- 
tioned still other places. One 
such panther formerly existed at 
^'S- 75- Kilbourne City, on the Wiscon- 

sin river. The body of the effigy has been destroyed in the 



grading of the street, and the tail is all that is left at the present 
time. Another figure similar to it, formerly existed at Burling- 
ton, on the Fox river.* This has been destroyed. The attitude 
is expressive and one that is natural to the panther, the tiger- 
like disposition being very manifest in it. The figure is one ot 
a group seen at Ripley Lake. Here, as in all other cases, when 
seen in this attitude the animal is placed on an eminence and evi- 
dently was intended as an outlook; the animal, from his position 
on the summit of the bluff overlooking the lake, suggesting this 
idea. The third attitude is one where two panthers are seen 
in apparent conflict. These effigies were discovered on the 
banks of Ripley Lake. Fig. 76. The significance of the at 
titudes will be understood from the 






may be seen 
on the banks of 
Green Lake, 
There are pan- 
thers in conflict 
a group near Beloit, 
but the animals in this group 
are pictured as parallel with 
one another, thrusting their 
claws into each other's bodies. 
The heads and tails are 
thrown out, but the hind legs 

Fig. 76. Panthers in conflict at Txipley ^rawn near together. A fourth 
Lake. attitude is one represented in 

Fig. yy. Here the large panther is in the attitude of tri 
umph. His shape contrasts with the other, both, however, 
having shapes which are very natural and expressive. This is 
the figure which has been visited by so many of the attendants 
upon the Monona Lake Assembly, as it is on ground belonging 
to Mr. Griffith, not far from the Lake Side. 

The attitudes of the animals are unique, and express much 
as to the moods of the creatures pictured. 

A fifth attitude of the panther (see Fig. 78) is the one which has 
been referred to above. It represents the animal as in the act of 
running, and the connection of the effig}' with a game drive 
would indicate that the intent was to represent the panther as in 
a chase after game. This effigy was discovered by the author 
on the west bank of Lake Koshkonong. It forms one of a verr 
interesting series of effigies, among which is the tortoise, another 
panther, and several other animals. A similar effigy to this has 
been seen by the author near New Lisbon, on the banks of a 
small stream, and not far from the site of an Indian dance ground. 

See Lapham's Antiquities, Plate xiii. 



It is attended with a peculiar group of mounds, which to the 
author seemed like a trap for ensnaring game. The attitude of 
the animal is here varied, in that it was expressive of a certainty 
of its victim, whereas in the other case the attitude was express- 
ive of great haste, and a determination to overtake the object 
of pursuit. The animal in both cases is represented as running 

rapidly, every part of the effigy giving force to this idea. A 
sixth attitude of the panther is that given by Fig. 80. We will 
not undertake to interpret the purpose or significance of the 
effigy. It is an attitude which is natural to the animal, and one 
which is not uncommon in the effigies. The figure was taken 
from a plate drawn by Dr. Lapham. Another figure similar to 



this has been furnished by the 
same author, but the animal is 
therein watchinf^ a mound where 
was a cache of grain, indicating 
that the purpose was to repre- 
sent the animal as guarding the 
stores of grain which had been 
hidden away by the native build- 
ers. Another attitude of the 
panther may be seen in Fig. 70. 
Here the panther is at rest. 
This effigy contrasts with the 
other figures, and yet it compares 
with the animals surrounding it 
as the effigies in this group are 
as we have stated, all in a peace- 
ful mood, their very attitude ex- 
pressing rest. We have been 
particular in describing the atti- 
tudes of the panther, because 
this animal is always very prom- 
inent among the mounds. There 
are localities, to be sure, where 
the effigies are more numerous 
than in others, but the effigy 
seems to ha\"c been a prevailing 
one throughout the whole state. 
The panther is very prominent 
in the vicinity of the four lakes, 
and it will be noticed that most 
of these specimens have been 
taken from this region. The 
seventh attitude is shown which 
is here presented in Fig. 79, and 
which is seen to be in an entirely 
different attitude. This figure 
was discovered by the author 
near the site of an ancient vil- 
lage, at Great Bend. The pur- 
pose of the effigy was, evi- 
dently, to protec*^ the grain 
which had been deposited in the 
pit or caches near its head, the 
superstition of the builders hav- 
ing given to the animal figure a 
charm which made it powerful 
as a protector, as well as an ob- 
ject of fear and adoration as a 



There is one point to which 
we would call attention in this 
connection — the office which 
was service! by the attitude. 
Each animal seems to have had 
an office, the office being ex- 
pressed by the effigy, the 
attitude in which the animal 
was represented correspond- 
ing to the office. That there 
should be a double purpose in 
the attitude is not a mere mat- 
ter of fancy with the author, for 
there are too many indications 
of it in the effigies. It appears 
that the builders of the effigies 
exercised their skill in depict- 
ing the various moods which 
they had come to recognize as 
peculiar to each animal, but 
they associated these moods 
with the character of their 
divinities, so as to make them 
expressive. Every totem which 
they erected had its natural at- 
titude and its supernatural sig- 
nificance, the attitude repre- 
senting the mood of the animal, 
but the office served by the 
effigies representing the super- 
natural power of the divinity. 
One illustration of this is here 
given. The buffalo is an animal 
•which is commonly represent- 
ed as feeding. The effigies of 
the buffalo are frequently 
found in meadows or in bot- 
tom lands, the attitude and 
the locality both being expres- 
sive of the grazing habits of 
the creature. There is one 
place, however, where the buf- 
falo is presented in an attitude 
which I's far from peaceful, ev- 
ery part of the animal being 
made expressive of a belliger- 
ent state. In the midst of the 
effigy, wherever the limbs and 













C311 (rt A. GIlOIU'tlF IUUU\u5 

tail would leave a vacant space, there were placed the caches, 
in which the stores of grain were hidden. The object of the 
effigy seems to have been to represent the animal as ready to 
hook and drive off any one who might approach the caches, the 
position of the head and tail and legs all giving the same idea. 

The storing of the grain in 
such an effigy as this, with the 
idea that the animal could protect 
it, may to us seem childish, but 
to the primitive people it was a 
powerful conception . Fear was 
the prevailing emotion and what- 
ever might raise a superstitious 
fear would serve as a guard and 
protector. The buffalo repre- 
sented as guarding the caches 
of grain referred to above is- 
situated at Lake Wingra, not 
far from the site of an ancient 
village, and adjacent to a 
ridge where were the burial 
mounds which belong to the 
village. The place where the ef- 
tigy was built was surrounded 
by long lines of burial mounds 
and by various effigies and 
straight ridges, but the figure 
itself is isolated. It is an inter- 
esting effigy, both because of its peculiar shape, and because the 
double significance of the attitude of the animal is perceptible 
in it. The effigy represents the particular mood of the buft'alo 
when enraged, and is very expressive of danger, but the office 
work of the animal is exhibited by the caches hidden away 
more than by the attitude itself. 

III. A third peculiarity of the attitudes of the animals is 
their usefulness. It appears that the animal effigies are some- 
times strangely distorted, the skill of the builders having been 
exercised in making the distortion expressive and at the same 
time useful. There are many animal effigies which have this 
peculiarity. Panthers are represented in effigy, but their bodies 
are unnaturally prolonged. Birds are represented in life-like 
shapes, but their wings are distorted, drawn out to a great 
length. Turtles are presented in their natural shape, but their 
tails are prodigiously lengthened. These distortions give rise 
to the idea that these effigies were designed for use. The imita- 
tions of nature could never lead to any such result. Great skill 
is exhibited in making the distortions retain the shape of the ani- 
mal, but the skill was also exercised in making the effigy serve a 

Fitr, 80. I'anther. 




purpose. We present a figure to illustrate this 
point. It is the figure of a group which was 
found by W. H. Canfield, at Honey Creek,* sit- 
uated in a valley beneath high bluffs and near 
1 a break or pass through the bluffs. It was 
1 evidently a game drive, as the location and the 
,^ relative position of the mounds give every in- 
dication that such was the purpose intended. 
The distortion of the effigies will be seen from 
the figures which are here given. The spec- 
imen here is a panther distorted so as to make 
it useful in a game drive. 

The group was attended by the effigy of a 
moose, and it is probable that the locality was 
used for a game drive for a moose. The ar- 
rangement of the mounds indicates considerable 
skill in constructing traps for game. The ar- 
rangement is such that the animals would be 
crowded in narrow openings and the hunters 
standing upon the top of the mounds might 
shoot into them and carry great slaughter into 
the herd. Several such game drives have been 
described by Mr. Canfield. The same feature 
was noticed m the group on Lake Koshkonong. 
The panther, whose effigy has been presented 
in Fig. 78, has a tail 350 feet long. It is situated 
in a low place in the line of the bluff, and is 
attended with a long tapering ridge or mound 
which runs parallel with it, the two forming 
a drive or runway for the animals 
which might be driven across the 
bluff' toward the lake. A similar 
game drive containing effigies 
wdth distorted or unusually pro- 
longed bodies and tails, has been 
seen by Dr. Lapham, at Great 
Bend.f Here the effigies are 
panthers and turtles combined. 
There is but one taperin_g mound 
in the group. The game drive 
was here formed mainly by the 
effigies, the distortions of the an- 
imal figures having been such 
that they served the purpose of 
walls or long ridges. There are 
other purposes that distorted 
figures mav be supposed to have 
T?- Q r- 1 v^ 1 servcd, but here the use is plain. 

Fig. 8r. Game (Irives containnm dis- _,, ' . . ^ ^, a^ • „ 

torted effigies of panthers near Honey These distortions Ot the ettlgieS 

Creek. are interesting, as they prove not 

' See Lapham 's Antiquities, XLVII. t See Lapham's Antiquities. I'late XVIII. 


only that a subtle significance was given to the animal figures, but 
that practical utilit}- was an object in erecting them. As an evi- 
dence of the usefulness of these ridges as a game drive or as a 
screen against the attack of animals, we give an incident which 
happened to an early settler. A Mr. Meggs, living at Arena, on 
the Wisconsin river, was out with his gun one morning when 
he came upon a bear. The result was that he was thrown into 
a panic and fled to the first place ol' refuge. Fortunately there 
was one of these artificial ridges near by. Hiding behind this, 
his trepidation gradually wore ofl' and as the bear came near 
he actuallv shot and killed it. The use of the etiigies for game 
drives is enhanced by the distortion. It makes the efiigies longer 
so that thev serve the same purposes as long mounds or ridges. 
It seems strange that the mound builders should have resorted 
to this expedient, but thev evidently had a superstition that their 
animal divinities would aid them in shooting game or would pro- 
tect them from the attacks of animals while they were hunting 
them. There was a combination however, of a mechanical con- 
trivance with a superstition or charm, and their safety was 
owing as much, no doubt, to the contrivance as to the super- 
natural power. 

The distortion of animal figures was not used solely for 
the purposes of the hunter. There are many effiiries which 
seem to have served the purpose of delense as well as those of 
the chase. In some cases there was a combination of uses; 
hunting, defending villages as well as fencing garden beds and 
places of cultivation, for there are many effigies where all of 
these purposes could be served. We find distorted images of 
panthers in game drives, and we find also huge images of pan- 
thers surrounding village inclosures, the sides of the panther 
forming a wall of defense. In other localities we find the eagle, 
similarly situated, the different attitudes of the eagle having 
diflerent offices ; one shape appears as a guard to a village, an- 
other appears to have been used as a screen for hunters, still 
another served as a fence or guard to protect the fields, and 
still another as a guard to the burying places. The distor- 
tions of the eagle are as numerous as that of the panther. We 
give illustrations of this point. 

There is a region w^here the eagle abounds in effigy and 
serves a more prominent office than any other effigy. This is 
on the Wisconsin river, near Muscoda. Here the author has 
discovered game drives, with the eagle unnaturally distorted as 
the essential part of the group. In the same vicinity there is a 
village site, the inclosure being surrounded bv eagle effigies, 
each effig}', however, having its natural shape. In the same 
vicinit}', burial mounds are guarded also by the eagle. Illus- 
trations of this point are given, taken from a locality which 
has been visited by W. H. Canfield, who surveyed the 



mounds at an early da}-, before the effi^jies were destroyed. 

That the office of the eagle 
was that of a guard in game 
drives, as a defense to vil- 
lage inclosures, and as a wall 
to protect the passes in 
bluffs, may be seen from the 
specimens of distorted effi- 
gies. The wing of the eagle 
is sometimes represented as 
unnaturally distorted. We 
have referred to this in one 
case before. In the group 
of effigies at Mills' Woods, 
we noticed that the turtle 
effigies were placed as look- 
outs, that being their usual 
office. We noticed that the 
wings of the eagle stretched 
from one group of turtles to 
another, they having been 
unnaturally prolonged in 
order to make them extend 
the whole distance, the ob- 
ject of the extended wing 
having been to furnish a 
single unbroken wall of de- 
fense across the whole face 
of the bluff, other bird effi- 
gies in front of the eagle 
having only partially served 
the same purpose. There 
are many other places 
where bird effigies are seen 
in distorted attitudes, the 
wing being unusually pro- 
longed. One such effigy has 
been seen by the author on 
the east bank of Lake Kosh- 
konong. Herethe bird effigy 
is attended with a long line 
of burial mounds, but the 
bird is situated between the 
burial mounds and the lake 
shore, the wings extending 
in front of the tumuli 
throughout the whole length 




of the ridge. The length of the wings is here some 250 feet, 
one wing being nearly twice as long as the other. A similar 
bird effigy, with wings extended 1,000 feet, has been seen by 
the author on the banks of a small stream near Muscoda, the 
intent of the builders evidently having been to make the wings 
a substitute for a wall. Eagle effigies are not always distorted 
when used for defense, for at times three or four eagles will be 
placed in a line with the wings extending from one to another. 
The office of the eagle is, however, generally one of defense and 
the position of the effigy as well as the distortions of the wings 
frequently shows this purpose. Illustrations of this are given 
in the following figures. 

In one locality the wings of birds form a barrier along the edge 
of a hill, and are so placed that they serve as a guard to the hill 

and as a guard to the pass up the 
bluff, which intervenes between 
them. This group has been describ- 
ed by W. H. Canfield. Fig. 83. It is 
situated at Honey Creek Mills, on 
the edge of Sauk Prairie. Dr. 
Lapham says, " On the east side 
of the creek commences a series of 
earth works of a very interesing 
character. The principal figure in 
the form is a bird, with a forked 
tail. They are on the margin of a 
beautiful level plain, a part of the 
great plain or prairie, called Prairie 
du Sauk. Several excavations 
made in building the dam have de- 
stroyed several of the works. The 
illustration of the group is here- 
with given. 

It will be noticed that the eagles 
have their heads in opposite direc- 
tions, but always toward the point 
of approach. One of them is placed 
on the bank of the stream and 
guards the bluff in that direction. 
Another is placed near a break in 
the bluff and guards tTie pass at that 
point. Still another overlooks the 
pass and protects the bluff on that 
side. A fourth, which is the largest 
of the group, has its wings ex- 
tending to a great length along 
the brow of the bluff, and pre- 
vents approach from that side. 


Eagle ettlgy at Honey Creek 


Other effigies were 
also arranged 
alonf^ the bluff be- 
yond. There is no 
doubt that the in- 
tent of the group 
was to protect the 
village from ap- 
proach by way of 
the stream. The 
immense size of 
the effigies indicate 
this as well as the 

In the vicinity of 
Muscoda there is a 
group of eages, 
the most of them, 
however, having 
their wings par- 
tially expanded- 
They surround an 
^^^\'..„m/ "'"'''''''''''"''"///v.^^^^^^^^^^^ ^ inclosure which 

evidently was once 

'"'v/z/f/m,,^^ ,^^isss!!ssmsss:>^^'^i:''^^^!im!s,fi^^ '^^'^'^,,^ '^ uscd as a villagc- 

1 ^<-^''' '"'^'''''^'^^vxNxs^ site. On one side 

I f of the inclosure the 

I I effigies are placed 

I I with their wings 

I I parallel, forming a 

I I fragmentary a nd 

I I uneven hne or wall. 

I I On the other side 

I I the eagles have 

I I their heads and 

I 1 bodies in a line, the 

\ I wings forming the 

\ I wall. No other 

I I effigv than the 

\ I eacrle is seen near 

\ I the inclosure. 

\ I There are a few 

long, straight 
mounds, which 
serve to protect the 

The eagle is the 
effigy which guards 


mK^Yltf!^/**^ ^^^^ place. The approach 

' "" to the x'illage is also 

guarded by eagles, for the 
banks of a stream which 
heads near the village site 
has eagles stretched along 
nearly its whole length un- 
til an extensive marsh is 
If reached. These eagles, 

0l.™»«^^^ which guard the approach 

Sit,»«i. i'^ along the stream, are, how- 

%\zf/ ever, built with their wings 

|.| extended. One of them has 

wings nearly a thousand 
feet long. 
^\\ Another place w here 

eagles have been noticed 
If Ȥ having the purpose of de- 

ll •§ fense is at the foot of the 

jl *^ dells of the Wisconsin 

► • fi, ^§ vA, river. Here the writer 

vjj- li'-^ ^ ^. in company with Professor 

|| ^ ■;£ F. W. Putman and J. Kim- 

^kmimmu^ _^ ball, discovered three eagle 

^ Wi 4^v^«lm..^.^vl ^ "^ cffigics, a figurc of which is 

given. The eagles were 
stretched along at right 
angles on the bluff of the 
river, itself forming a wall 
between the river and a swail 
and guarding the bluff from 
approach. Within this wall 
the ground seemed to be 
broken as if there had been 
garden beds or corn fields. 
Possibly the effigies were 
designed as a fence to pro- 
tect the corn fields. This 
was on the farm of Mr. 
Eaton. There were other 
mounds about a half mile 
north of the line, but they 
had been obliterated and 
could not be surveyed. 




One of the most noticeable things in connection with the em- 
blematic mounds is that they are so often expressive of a relig- 
ious sentiment. The question has often arisen whether this 
sentiment was not the real motive which rules in their erection, 
and whether we may not consider the shapes of tne animals 
which are presented in effigies as the result of a peculiar form 
of religion to which is to be ascribed the imitations and resem- 
blances found in the mounds. This view of the subject brings 
us at once to consider the religious character of the effigies, and 
so we take up the inquiry whether this cannot be ascertained 
from a stud}- of the mounds. 

The sources of information on this point will then mainly en- 
gage attention. These sources we shall discover in the mounds 
themselves, although many suggestions may be derived from a 
comparison of these works with the symbols and customs com- 
mon among the living races. We consider that the effigies are 
the svmbols of a religion which was once very powerful, and 
therefore we are to study the religion in the eflfigies. 

We shall draw our information from four sources: ist. The lo- 
cation of the mounds. 2d. The peculiar conformation of the 
effigies to the surroundings. 3d. The relative position of the 
effigies. 4th. The contents of the mounds. With these as our 
sources of evidence, we shall put the inquiry, what that religious 
sentiment was which prevailed, and how this affected the mound 
building itself. 

I St. The first point which we shall consider will be the loca- 
tion of the mounds, but along with this we raise the question 
whether this is not to be ascribed, in part at least, to a prevailing 
nature zvorsJdp. The location of the mounds may indeed have 


been owing to other motives than the rehgious sentiment, for 
we often find a variety of uses served by it. In certain cases 
we find that the effigies were erected for signal stations, their 
location suggesting this idea. This is in accord with the cus- 
toms of living races, for there is no custom more common than 
for them to locate sentinels on high points so that they may 
give warning of the approach of an enemy or may signal to 
the people residing near by the presence of game. There are 
many spots where mounds were erected with this object evi- 
dently in view, for the position of the mounds is such that the 
outlook from the summit is most extensive, whereas if the 
mounds had been placed even a few feet distant the view would 
have been lost. 

Another object is apparent in the location of the mounds, 
and that is that they might serve the double use of beacons and 
burial places. This seems to have been a custom among mound 
builders generally and has been noticed in many cases among 
the emblematic mounds. 

A third object can also be traced, namely the location of the 
residences of the people. It was a custom among the Mandans 
and many other tribes, to locate their villages upon high bluffs, 
where the extensive view of the river and valley can be gained. 
There are many places where this seems to have been the ob- 
ject with the emblematic mound builders. A fourth object is 
perceptible, namely, that of defense. This we have referred to, 
and have pointed out many localities where effigies seem to be 
placed as guards to passes in the bluffs. These four uses have 
been discovered and they seem to be common. 

Yet notwithstanding all this we maintain that the religious 
one was the chief motive which ruled in the location. As 
proof of this we would refer to the fact that the effigies are so 
connected with the scenery as to give the idea that there was a 
kind of nature religion which prevailed among the builders of 

We have already said that the effigies present a picture of 
the mental habits of the people ; but we are here to show that 
the location of the effigies as connected with the scenery sug- 
gests a motive entirely ditlerent from any which we have^ men- 
tioned. We believe that the builders were in that state where 
the effects of scenery upon the mental habits of the people were 
most powerful, and that this became in a sense a religion to 
them. There may have been, and probabJy was, with this 
people, the same sense of beauty which we ourselves have, and 
we may suppose that the location of the effigies was owing to 
this motive ; but the point which we are to prove is that this 
sense of beauty and admiration of the scenery was a part 
of rehgion. It is difficult for us in our artificial state, to re- 


alize this, and yet if we could put ourselves into the condition 
of the wild and uncivilized, we micrht see the force of it. A na- 
tive impressibility was the chief feature of the people. A strange 
mixture of material S3'mbolism, of religious tradition, of tribal 
customs and of wild life is manifested in these works. 

We have seen that the emblematic mounds contain figures of 
the animal divinities which this mysterious people worshipped, 
and that they picture before us the superstitious and religious 
conceptions which ruled, but there is that in the locations of 
the mounds which convinces us that their divinities were closely 
associated with the natural features of the earth and that they 
thus became remarkable exponents of nature worship. The 
most eloquent and expressive thing of all is that these emblem 
atic shapes everywhere haunt us with their presence. The 
streams and lakes, hills and valleys, woods and prairies, are 
overshadowed by their images. It seems strange that the peo- 
ple should have formed such conceptions, but especially strange 
that they should have impressed their conceptions upon the 
works of nature. The animals were divinities to them, but the 
animal effigies were placed most conspicuously upon the face of 
the earth and made to figure as symbols of these divinities. 

There was in these effigies the union of the three elements 
the conspicuous location, the animal semblance and the supernat- 
ural power. It was this singular superstition which seized upon 
the most prominent points of land and there placed the figures 
of their animal divinities and made them preside over the scene 
by a supernatural power. It is impossible to go from group to 
group of these strange effigies and see how closely they are as- 
sociated with the natural features without realizing that there 
was a religious conception which exalted them to a level of a 
supernatural presence. There is a vast amount of significance 
in these silent heaps, for they suggest not only the skill of 
the builders, but also the religious habits and traits of the people. 
A primitive symbolism finds here an embodiment illustrating 
the fact that this is one of the earliest methods which religion 
had of expressing itself 

The mere description of certain m.ounds, according to meas- 
urements and the printing of diagrams, as illustrating the shapes 
of the effigies, proves to be a very small part of the record, for 
this very feebly gives the idea which prevailed in the minds of 
the builders, and leaves out altogether one esssential element, 
namely, the religious motive. A description of the topography 
and natural scenery is better, for this shows how closely asso- 
ciated the mounds are with the scenery, and reveals something 
of the love of nature which prevailed among the builders. 

The thought which we dra>v from a close study of the effigies 
in connection with their location is that they embodied a sys- 


tem of rature worship which was very powerful, and that this 
was one motive which ruled in their erection. 

This is confirmed by tradition. It is noticeable that primi- 
tive races were all very impressible to scenery. Mr. Charles 
Leland speaks of the Algonquin m3'ths as if they were of his- 
toric origin, and compares them to the Eddas; but the Eddas antl 
the myths both illustrate the point, to which we refer. The scen- 
€rv ot Norse land ma}^ be recognized in the Norse myths, 
and the scenery of New England can be recognized in the Al- 
gonquin myths, but both show that scenery is a very essential 
element in mythology. 

Locality always leaves its mark on native tradition, and native 
myths also leave their marks on localities. We should know 
from the New England myths that the people who held them were 
residents of the seashore, for the animals which are made to figure 
in these myths are animals peculiar to the sea. We know that they 
dwelt in a region where were rocks and romantic scenery, and 
that they were a people who were influenced by this peculiar 
scenery. Their traditions are many of them, localized, the rocks 
often being made to symbolyze their myths. It is singular, 
however, that the myths which fix upon scenes in nature are 
those which remind one of the animal divinities which were wor- 
shipped. The figure of the moose and the turtle and other ani- 
mals have been recognized in certain strange and contorte 
figures in the rocks and mountains, and myths have been con- 
nected with them, the myth having evidently been made to 
account for the resemblances. 

This is not peculiar to New England. We learn from Rev. M. 
Eells, Rev. S.Jackson, D.D., and others, that the tribes of the north- 
west coast have many of their myths connected with the differ- 
ent objects in nature, such as mountains and valleys, streams and 
rocks, showing that with them there was a tendency to throw 
an air of religion over nature. The same thing has been illus- 
trated by Dr. Washington Matthews, in his article on Navaio 
Myths. Here the animals are all associated with the different 
localities, the animals and the scenes of nature having been 
regarded with a peculiar sentiment which makes history and 
religion identical. We present this, then, as a proof that the 
■emblematic mounds were regarded in a religious light, the 
scenery and the animal shapes both proving the different ele- 
ments in the prevalent nature worship. 

The Chinese have a peculiar superstition which is worthy of 
notice here. It is called in English ^'crcwawry. The idea is that 
the scenery is haunted with certain spirits, which are the spirits 
•of nature. In other words, there are supposed to be certain 
occult influences in nature, which aftect mankind. They prevail 
over earth, air and water, but particularlv the hills and streams. 
These influences come into connection with human destiny b}* 


gliding along the summits of hills, through valleys, into 
groves, or over tall trees, and in general by any extended object 
in the landscape. This geomancy is with them closely allied to 
ancestor worship. If the grave of an ancestor be located at 
such a point as to command these hidden forces and compe' 
them to blend in harmonious and favorable action, that tomV 
will be a fount of prosperity to succeeding generations, but if 
the tomb be not correctly located, adversity will inevitably follow 
Thus we see that superstition has much lo do with the location 
of graves, and that this is an element which fixes upon scenery- 
as the chief source of inspiration. We maintain that if this 
was so common among living races, it was also common among 
the prehistoric people, and to one or the other of these supersti- 
tions mav we ascribe the locations of the effigies by the em- 
blematic mound- builders. 

II. The conformation of the effigies to the shape of the 
ground is suggestive of animal worship. So strong was this 
tendency to people the scenes of nature with their divinities, 
that it led to the transformation of the forms of earth by the aid 
of art into shapes which should represent the animal divinities 
to the eye, but the transformation indicates that there was prev- 
alent among the builders a primitive animism which alsi 
connected itself with animal worship, and so combined the two 
faiths in one. 

There are many places where the effigies are conformed to the 
shape of the ground so that the natural and artificial are hardly 
distinguishable, both combining to represent the animal figure 
There was a strange commingling of earth and animal in one 
combined shape, the hand of man having transformed the 
natural shape into an animal figure, and making both together 
to serve as a representative of the divinity which was wor- 

The suggestion of the particular shape which should be 
given to the effigy would come'from the natural conformation of 
the ground, but the embodiment of the shape would be com- 
pleted by the w^ork of art. It is strange that so many figures 
should have been placed upon the surface of the earth bearing 
so close a resemblance to the configuration of the soil itself, but 
it would seem as if the intent of the builder was to make every- 
thing in nature expressive of divinity. There are places where 
the hill top has an effigy upon its summit, the contour of the hill 
being brought before the eye as suggesting the shape of the 
effigy itself, but the effigy, by its skillful conformation to the 
shape of the earth, turning the hill-top into an animal shape and 
making it expressive of the animal divinit}-. We give a cut to 
illustrate this point (Fig. 85.) The locality where this group of 
effigies is found, is near the city of Madison. Here the ridge which 
intervenes between the two lakes, Lake Wingra and Lake Mo- 




s. > 

,. -■.■A-.\VS.S \HV.V.-- 

Fig. 85. 

mm^ ^- 

Mounds at Lake Wingra. 

nona, is a peculiarly gro- 
tesque and contorted 
one, rising above the 
surrounding land and 
thrusting its summit 
high into the air, so as 
to be a noticeable fea- 
ture in the entire land- 
scape. This contorted 
ridge the Mound build- 
ers siezed upon as a 
place on which to 
erect their effigies. The 
ridge is covered 
throughout its entire 
length by a series of 
mounds, each of which 
has its peculiar prom- 
inence, from which a 
view of the surround- 
ing country can be 
gained. Many of these 
are ordinary burial 
mounds, and do not 
differ from others except 
that their place must 
have been chosen with 
the express object of ob- 
taining an outlook or 
view of the surround- 
ing country. The point 
to which we would calf 
attention especially, is 
that in the center of this, 
ridge there is a group 
which is composed of 
several effigies sur- 
rounding a central bur- 
ial or altar mound. A 
description of this altar 
has already been given 
and we refer to the 
group mainly to illus- 
trate the conformation 
of the effigies to the 
shape of the earth. It 
will be noticed that sev- 
eral of the effigies and 


especially the eel ( 1 8) or serpent, the panther (17), the nondescript 
figure (10), and the war club (3), are closely conformed to the 
character of the ridge, showing that there was an intent 
to make both the natural and artificial shape to embody 
the animal effigy. We refer to it here only as illus- 
trating a conception which is novel, and as proving that 
the effigies had at times, at least, a religious significance. 
There are several other localities where the same singular freak 

...••"■ ..,, ^.■•""•••"""■•..,. 

/ ^.- ■:.., '■■■"■ ,.......-•■ ■'■■■% \ 

•.. ^ 

,„■ •"- 

., I 

\ ^ V •..•-*"'"" 

/ .• 

Vi _ 

^- Henderson Mound 

Fig. 86. Mound and Bluff at Beloit. 

of fancy, if it can be so called, is exercised. At the east end of 
Lake Monona there is a series of emblematic mounds which 
illustrates the point (See Diagram 6.) This locality we have de- 
scribed before,* but we refer to it again so as to represent the 
mounds in their connection with the topography. It will be no- 
ticed that the shape of the effigies and the shape of the ground 
closely correspond. These effigies are situated on the edge of 
the water, and are moulded to the surface of a series of sand 
ridges or knolls so as to give the knolls and the mounds, shapes 
resemblmg animals, the mounds and the knolls both com- 
bining together to bring out the figure. Another illustration of 
the same point may be found near the city of Beloit. Here the 
effigy is a lizard, and the object seems to have been to make the 
shape of the lizard conform to the shape of the hill on which it 
was erected, so as to bring out the contour of the hill top and 
show the animal resemblance which was recognized in it. Fig. 86. 

See Am. Antiquarian, Vol. VI, No. 4. 




Hw« «ic«««»»««**a* 

The best illustra- 
tion, however, of the 
point, is seen at Great 
Bend. Here a hill, 
which is visible at a 
great distance, has an 
effigy on its summit, a 
cut of which is given 
in Fig. 87. This is 
near the brow of the 
hill an like the pre- 
ceding specimens is 
so closely conformed 
to the contour of the 
hill as to give the idea 
that the shape was 
chosen because of its 
resemblance. See also 
Diagram 7. 

This is in accord 
with the sentiment 
and character of the 
native races, and is 
what would be expect- 
ed from the people 
who erected these 
mounds. There are 
traditions among the 

later tribes which showthe religious sentiment to be the most pow- 
erful. This sentiment leads them to fix upon the prominent fea- 
tures of the landscape, and to invest them with a peculiar awe 
and sacredness. It is said that amon£r the tribes who formerly 
inhabited the island of Mackinac, there was a superstition in 
reference to the island that it was haunted by a great turtle 
divinitv, the shape of the island being in the shape of a turtle, 
and iiivin<r the idea that it was the sacred haunt of this great 
turtle. Schoolcraft and other travelers say it was the 
custom among the natives to present their otierings to this 
divinitv as they approached, and that the island was in a man- 
ner regarded as sacred. Lieut. D. H. Kelton, U. S. A., makes 
known the fact that the name of the island signifies in the Al- 
gonquin tongue, " the big turtle." 

A similar superstition also fixed upon a bluft'in the island 
which, especially when seen at some distance, resembled a rabbit, 
and the name Sitting Rabbit was applied to the bluff. Lieut. 
Kelton savs the Indians were in the habit of offering a sac- 
rifice in the form of tobacco strewn on the water when 
passing that point on a journey, supposing that a spi.iit presided 
over the neighborhood. There is no doubt that the effigies 

Fig. 87. Altar Mound at Great Bend. 


were erected at times to commemorate these beliefs, and by this 
means perpetuated the traditions which had gathered about the 
various localities and made the prominent features of the land- 
scape, in a manner, sacred. The traditions, have, however, been 
lost, and we have only the effigies preserved to show that 
similar religious beliefs prevailed among the mound-builders 
of this region. It should be said, however, that the cultus 
which prevailed among the emblematic mound-builders was 
such as would favor this peculiar superstition. 

Among the earliest of religious beliefs is that of Animism or 
nature worship. Next to this in the rising scale is animal worship, 
and following it is sun worship. Animism is the religion of the sav- 
age and hunter races, who are generally wanderers. Animal wor- 
ship is the religion of the sedentary tribes, and is peculiar to a 
condition v»'here agriculture and permanent village life appear. 
Sun worship is the religion of village tribes and is peculiar to 
the stage which borders upon the civilized. It is a religion 
W'hich belongs to the status of barbarism, but often passes over 
into the civilized state. Now, judging from all circumstances, 
and signs we should say that the emblematic mound builders 
were in a transition state, between the conditions of savagery 
and barbarism, and that they had reached the point where an- 
imal worship is very prevalent. 

This habit of fixing upon the scenes of nature, and trans- 
forming them into animal divinities is evidence, in our opinion, 
that the old superstition that nature was possessed by a spirit 
had given way to the idea that animals were the objects of wor- 
ship and were to be regarded as totems or divinities. The 
idea that localities were haunted by divinities was, however, 
still retained and there is no doubt that many of the effigies 
which surmount the hill-tops perpetuated their local traditions 
and were reminders of these divinities to the people which in- 
habited the region. 

III. We now reach a third point, the relation of the effigies to 
idolatry. The question arises whether the emblematic mound 
builders ever erected effigies as idols and regarded them as 
objects of worship. Idols are generally isolated, and so the an- 
swer comes to us from the relative positions of the effigies. It is 
a singular fact that nearl}' all of the effigies which have been 
discovered in other states are isolated, but in this state the cases 
are rare. There are to be sure, many localities where effigies 
are arranged so as to form a sacred enclosure, and there are 
evidences that in these enclosures religious rites were prac- 
ticed; but it has not yet appeared that the effigies were 
themselves thus isolated and made objects of worship. This 
is an interesting point. The location of the effigies sometimes 
gives the idea that a superstitious awe was felt toward them 
as if they were divinities presiding over the scene, but it also 
shows that the effigies were devoted to familiar and practical 



uses, the divinity serving both as a guardian divinity and as a 
watchtower or lookout for the people. It is to be observed that 
the cases are rare where an effigy is isolated and kept at a dis- 
tance, as if it were too sacred for approach. This custom of 
erecting single effigies on isolated hill tops, where the}' could be 
seen, but owing to the distance and isolation could not be ap- 
proached, was, we may say, common in other parts ot' the 
country. It appears that the two effigy mounds found in 
Ohio, namely, the serpent and the alligator, were thus situated. 
The alligatoi- mound was erected on a high hill, and overlooked 
the whole vallev where are the works which have been noted 
as the most extensive and complicated of any in the countr}-, 
namely, those at Newark. Fig. 88. 

The location of this effigy at the head of the valle}', on so 
prominent a hill top, would indicate that it was regarded with 
superstitious feeling, and it may have been considered as a 
guardian divinity for the whole region. 

Fig. 88. .Alligator Mound at Granville, Ohio. 

It is possible that it perpetuated some tradition which prevailed 
in the locality, and the hill top and the effigy were associ- 
ated together, because of the tradition. The erection of the 
altar near the effigy would indicate also that it was a place 
where offerings were made, and would suggest that the sacrifice 
here had become formal, and possibly was conducted by 
a priesthood, rather than in the hands oi individuals as volun- 
tary. We cannot say that this was true of the great serpent; 
and yet the oval mound in front of the serpent effigy would in- 
dicate that this also was used as a place of sacrifice, and that here 
was a localit}' which tradition had fixed upon as a place where 



Jniliaa Srni-tj. 

Fig. 89. Great Serpent in Adams county, Ohio. 


some divinity had dweU. We suggest also in reference to this 
serpent mound, that possibly the very trend of the hill and of the 
vallies, and the streams on either side of it, may have given rise 
to the tradition. The isolation of the spot is remarkable. The 
two streams which here separate the tongue of land from the 
adjoining countr}- unite just below the clitl", and form an exten- 
sive open valley, which lays the country open for many miles, 
so that the cliff on which the effig}' is found can be seen to a 
great distance. The location of this effigy is peculiar. It is in 
the midst of a rough, wild region, which at the present is dif- 
ficult to approach, and according to all accounts is noted for its 
inaccessibility. See Fig. 89. 

The shape of the cliff would easily suggest the idea of a 
massive serpent, and this with the inaccessibility of the spot 
would produce a peculiar feeling of awe, as if it were a great 
Manitou which resided there, and so a sentiment of wonder and 
worship would gather around the locality. This would natur- 
ally give rise to a tradition or would lead the people to revive 
some familiar tradition and localize it. This having been done, 
the next step would be to erect an effigy on the summit which 
should both satisfy the superstition and represent the tradition. 
It would then become a place where the form of the serpent 
divinity was plainly seen, and where the worship of the serpent, 
if it can be called worship, would be practiced. Along with 
this serpent worship, however, there was probably the formality 
of a priestly religion, the rites of sacrifice having been insti- 
tuted here and the spot made sacred to them. It was literally 
"sacrificing on a high place." The tires which were lighted 
would be seen for a great distance down the valley and would 
cast a glare over the whole region, producing a feeling of awe 
in the people who dwelt in the vicinit}'. The shadows of the 
clitl would be thrown over the valley, but the massive form ot 
the serpent would be brought out in bold relief; the tradition 
would be remembered and superstition would be aroused, and 
the whole scene would be full of strange and aweful associations. 

The various authors who have treated of this serpent mound 
have maintained that the tradition which found its embodiment 
here was the old Brahmanic tradition of the serpent and the Qgg. 

Mr. S. G. Squier connects the effigy with the serpent w^orship 
which is so extensive in different parts of the w^orld, and School- 
craft has expressed the opinion that it was a sign of the Hindoo 
myth, and even Drake in his new^ volume on Indian tribes suggests 
the same. We express no opinion upon this point but quote the 
description of the mound as given by Squier and Davis.* 

* While writing this article we have received a letler from Rev. J. P. McLean, in 
reference to this serpent effig)-. He says that the figure as descriljed in "ancient 
onuments " by Squier and Davis is decidedly wrong. I have been to the mound 
three times; the last time, last month, (September, '84.) 1 have furnished a correct 
plan to the "Bureau of Ethology." I took an engineer with me. First, there is a 


" Probably the greatest earthwork discovered at the west is 
the great serpent. It is situated on Rush Creek, at a point 
known as Three Forks, upon a high cresent-formed hill or spur 
of land, which rises one hundred and fifty feet above the level 
•of the creek. The side of the hill next to the stream presents a 
perpendicular wall of rock, while the other side slopes rapidly 
though, it is not so steep as to preclude cultivation. Conforming 
to the curve of the hill and occupying the very summit is the ser- 
pent, its head near the very point, and its body winding back 
Too feet, and this terminating in a coil at the tail. The neck of 
the serpent is stretched out and slightlv curved, and its mouth 
is opened wide, as if in the act of swallowing or ejecting an 
oval figure which rests partially within the distended jaws. 
This oval is formed by an embankment of earth, without any 
perceptible opening, four feet in height and is perfectly regu- 
lar in outline, its traverse and conjugate diameter being one 
hundred and sixty feet and eighty feet respectively. The 
ground within the oval is slightly ekvated; a small circular 
■elevationof stones much burned once existed in the center, but 
they have been throwm down and scattered b}' some ignorant 
visitor, under the prevailing impression, probably, that gold 
was hidden beneath them. The point of the hill within which 
this egg-shaped figure rests, seems to have been artificially 
cut to conform to its outline, leaving a smooth platform ten feet 
and somewhat inclining inward all around it." 

The erection of isolated mounds was not common in Wis- 
consin, the custom here having been to isolate an altar or beacon 
mound, and to make the effigies as guards to this mound. This 
style of sacred enclosure is, however, quite common, several 
«uch having been noticed by different persons. We have 
in Wisconsin several specimens of what may be called sacred 
enclosures. One such has been described by Mr. S. Taylor. It 
is situated near Muscoda. The peculiarity of the group can 
be seen from the diagram, Fig. 90: 

frog which has just laid the egg. Second, the egg is between the legs of the frog 
and in the serpents jaws. Third, the convolutions are vgry marked. This letter puts 
a new construction ou the shape of the effig)- and would indicrte that the serpent and 
the egg were not taken from the Bramanic tradition but had reference to some ab- 
original tradition. \Ve do not decide as to the correctness of IVIr. McLean's descrip- 
tion. Prof. F. W. Putnam with Mr. J. Kimball has visited the place and taken the 
dimensions of the efligy. Dr. J- G. Phene also visited the locality in 1882. Mr. 
J. W. Traber, who lives in the vicinity, has also sent ihe author discriptions of the 
serpent effigy. None of these gentlemen have recognized the frog. 'We give the ac- 
count of Mr. McLean as a new view. All opinions, however, confirm the point which 
we are illustrating. All agree that the sei"pent effigy perpetuated some unknown 
tradition. The probability is also that the serpent effigy was regarded as peculiarly 
sacred. We give the cut taken from "Ancient Monuments," and call attention to the 
peculiarities of the place because it answers the purpose for which we use it mainly. 
There is no doubt but that this was an effigy which was connected with the native 
religion of the mound builders and we refer it as one illustration of a form of re- 
ligion which may have prevailed among the emblematic mounds. 



A description of this, is given by Squier and Davis as fol- 
lows : "The ground is here prominent; it has descent to the 
north, south and west of the embankments; to the east it 
spreads into a broad plateau, upon which, as well as to the 
southward, are numerous other embankments of various forms 
and dimensions. From the top of the principal mound, occupving 
the center of the group, and within 400 yards to the westward 
ma}' be seen at least one hundred elevations similar to those 
forming the boundaries of the so-called enclosure. Mr. Tavlor 
calls it the "citadel" and saj'S the figures, including the group 
are &o arranged as to constitute a sort of enclosure of about 
one and one-half acres. 

Fig. 90. Sacred Enclosure near Miisccda. 

Another enclosure similar to this, has been discovered by the 
writer on the banks of Lake Mendota.* Here the view is quite 
extensive, but the hill is not so prominent as that described by Mr. 
Taylor. The enclosure, however, has many of the same charac- 

*An illustration of this group will be given in a future number. 


teristics. The place is known by the name of Merrill's Springs, 
and there is here a beautiful spring which pours its water into 
the lake, and which was evidently prized by the prehistoric in- 
habitants. This spring is guarded by a long row of conical 
mounds, which are connected with one another by an artificial 
ridge or wall. At one end of the row is an effigy of a bird, 
which overlooks the lake to the north and west. The row is so 
situated that it forms a barrier against approach to the spring 
as it follows along the edge of the bluff or hill which here 
slopes to the edge of the water. At the east end of the row is 
the group referred to. The peculiarity of the group is that it 
serves, ist, as a protection to the spring, by filling in the space 
between the summit of the hill and the water's edge. 2d. It is 
attended with a large conical mound, which may have been used 
both as a beacon and as a burial place. 3d. The chief peculiarity 
is that the efingies so surround the central mound as to make an 
enclosure showing that it was used both as a beacon and as a 
place of worship. The spring was evidently a place of resort 
and it is possible that the quasi wall enclosed a small village or 
camp, but the enclosure with its effigies surrounding the central 
beacon or burial mound is the distinguishing feature of the 

This double use of effigies has been noticed in many places, 
notably at Lake Koshkonong. See Fig. (10.) Here may 
be seen the effigy of the panther (5) and the catfish (2) sur- 
rounding a central beacon mound (4) and near this a mound 
which we have eslewhere called an altar (3) though it has never 
been excavated so as to show whether it was such or not. The 
group was, probably, used as a place where beacon fires 
were lighted, for it is situated on a high bluff overlooking the 
lake and can be seen for a great distance. It would seem, 
however, that it was also used as a place of sacrifice for the 
mound in front of the beacon has a shape which is often used 
as an altar. To this point we shall refer again. The effigies 
are so situated as to form an enclosure and the whole group is 
in a manner isolated, the ground falling away from this point on 
all sides. 

There is another group in the same vicinity where effigies of 
various kinds surround central mounds giving the idea that it 
was a place where there was a sacred residence either of chiefs 
or priests or medicine men. See diagram (3.) This group is 
overlooked by the effigy of a lizard, but there are many other 
effigies of various kinds which surround the enclosure making 
the group to appear as if it were intended for both a residence 
and a sacred enclosure. 

The religious use of the effigies is the point which we have 
dwelt upon in connection with these locations, for this is the first 
lesson which the situation of the mounds suggests. They may 


not prove that fetichism or the worship of effigies or even an- 
imal worhip, was the rehgion prevalent among the builders of 
the animal effigies, but I think the object of the so called enclo- 
sure was in part, at least, to gather around the beacon mounds 
the idea of sacredness, the effigies furnishing guards to these 
mounds and making the places in a sense exclusive. It is prob- 
able that the glare of the beacon fires when thrown upon the 
effigies would arouse a fear for the animal divinities, and so 
idolatry or effigy worship may have existed, but on this point 
we do not care to dwell. Our main argument is that the effigies 
were frequently used for religious purposes. If we cannot fix 
upon the exact form of the religion which prevailed we can 
nevertheless see that they were so used. We have maintained 
that nature worship was prevalent. This may, however, 
have been mingled with animal worship and this 
again with a kind of fetichism. The form of religion 
was probably very indefinite, combining all the characteristics 
of primitive animism, and running over into the stages of a prim- 
itive idolatry; nature worship and animal worship being the 
intermediate stages. We conclude that the shapes of the earth 
were fixed upon by animism, and that nature worship was con- 
tinued in the midst of animal worship. We conclude also that this 
animal worship seized upon the effigies, and made them abettors to 
that faith. We surmise that tradition fixed upon certain localities 
and brought nature worship and animal worship into a combined 
localized superstition. We conclude, finally, that the rites of 
sacrifice and the custom of lighting beacon fires made the forms 
of nature to reflect animal figures, thus mingling the two super- 
stitions more completely, and from their very indefinite and 
shadowy characters, making them very powerful. 

IV. We now arrive at a fourth view ot the religion exhib- 
ited by the emblematic mounds, and that is that it was a re- 
ligion attended with sacrifices. The evidence on this point we 
take from the contents of the mounds. The contents, however, 
prove that sacrifices were common. 

We have thus far treated of the peculiarities of the effigies in 
their bearing upon the use or purpose to which they were put. 
We have found that the religious character was uppermost. 
This is exhibited, ist, in the choice of the location, the evidence 
being that they were made conspicuous because of the reverence 
which was felt toward them as the images of their animal divin- 
ities; 2d, the conformation of the effiigies to the shape of the 
ground increased this impression, it being one part of a primi- 
tive religion to assign a double character to all objects of wor- 
ship; 3d, the isolation of the effigies in certain localities conveying 
the idea of sacredness, we were led to consider that the same 
character was to be ascribed to certain groups in this state, the 
evidence being that there were certain groups in which enclos- 


ures or sacred places of assembly were to be found. 4th. We are 
now to consider the contents of these mounds as furnishing 
proof that they were sometimes used as places of sacrifice or as 
places where religious rites were practiced. We have spoken of a 
certain class of mounds which in their shape we have called 
altars, and we shall therefore take this class as the one which 
we are to examine and whose contents we are to consider. It is 
a singular fact that nearly all of the localities which we have 
mentioned in this paper have presented a mound which judging 
from the external appearance was an altar. We here give a cut 
which shows the shape of an altar mound, see fig 91. We do not 
say that all altars are in this shape, but we have found that 
wherever such a mound has been found situated on high land 
where it may be conspicuous to the site, and especially if at- 
tendad with a group of effigies surrounding it, there the mound 
hasalways proved to be a place of sacrifice. The mound which 
we have depicted in the figure has been explored and described 
by Dr. J. N. Dehart. 

This mound was in a very conspicuous situation. From its 
summit an extended view of the surrounding country can be 
had several miles in every direction. This mound is situated 
on the north side of Lake Mendota. It was also attended by a 
beacon mound. It has been excavated and proved to contain 
layers of gravel, of sand, of black loam, three feet deep; another 
layer of gravel, then a deposit of earth, and below these ashes, 
charcoal, and flints, the whole lying upon an altar of stones. 
The altar was about one and one-half feet high, three and one- 
half in length, and one foot in width. The figure given, illus- 
trates the manner of erecting the mound and the shape of the 
altar; but the location of the mound shows that the object was to 
make it a place of cremation and as conspicuous as possible. 

Another mound which, in our opinion, was an altar, is the 
one which has been referred to above, as situated at Great Bend. 
We give a figure of it here (see fig. 87) that our readers may gain 
an idea of the characteristic shapes of the so-called altar mounds. 
It will be noticed that there are resemblances between this mound 
and the alligator mound at Granville, especially in the protruber- 
ances which arise from the back and hips and shoulders of the effi- 
gy. The animal is, however, not the alligator, but the turtle or tor- 
toise, the turtle being represented with legs and tail drawn up, but 
it at the same time combines in the effigy six conical mounds. This 
mound has not been excavated and so cannot be proved to have 
been an altar yet there are two large tumuli or burial mounds 
near it, and many other signs which would indicate that it was 
so used. It is located on the hill above the site of an ancient 
village, giving rise to the idea that it was the regular place of 
sacrifice for the residents of this village. It is worthy of remark 
that a mound similar to this has been excavated and proven to 


have been an altar, and to this mound we now call attention. 
At the beginning of this paper we referred to a group of mounds 
which is situated on Lake Wingra, and which was remarkable 
for its location and other characteristics. Fig, 85. The mound 
which we are now to describe is the central one of this group. This 
is a locality which illustrates all the points which we have made 
and therefore is worthy of especial mention. The effigies con- 
tained in it are conformed to the shape of the ground. The 
spot is one which, owing to its isolation and peculiar character 
would be regarded with awe and idolatrous fear. Whether 
any tradition had fixed upon it or not, it was evidently a place 
where religious rites were celebrated. It contains a sacred 
enclosure, the effigies having been arranged around two cen- 
tral mounds so as to guard them from approach. These 
two central mounds we have designated as a beacon and an 
altar, and have compared them to the mounds in other groups 
to show that they were places for beacon fires and sacrifices. 

We are now to give the proof of this from a review of the 
contents of the mounds. The group was explored in 1879 by 
a committee appointed by the Academy of Science of the State 
of Wisconsin, and from the report we take the following iacts : 

According to the account given by Prof. Nicodemus it con- 
tained a fire-place two by two and one-half feet, with a layer of 
charcoal and ashes two inches in thickness. This was found at 
a depth of five feet. In it was a piece of cloth partially burnt 
and below it were found the portions of a skeleton nearly decom- 
posed, but the whole altar and mound showed the signs of fire. 
The beacon mound is found in the same enclosure, and this 
proved, on examination, to have contained two fire- places, one 
three feet and the other at five feet below the surface. There 
were also found in this mound the fragments of four or more 
skeletons, with pieces of pottery and other relics. The altars 
contained partially burnt bones and ashes, showing that here 
human beings had been cremated. We refer to this group be- 
cause it proves Avhat kind of mounds were used as sacrificial 
places. The shape of this altar is very similar to the one which 
is given in fig. 87, and resembles also, with its corresponding 
beacon mound, the two which we have described as found on 
the banks of Lake Koshkonong. Fig. 10. The altar mound 
has a peculiar form, resembling that of a tortoise shell, but is 
destitute of the protruberance which would represent the limbs 
of the tortoise. The locality seems to have been well chosen, 
for its central position makes it conspicuous in the landscape^ 
and the isolation of the spot itself throws an air of sacredness 
around the place. The peculiar shape of the ridge would make 
it a prominent object, but the erection of the effigies on the sum- 
mit and the spurs of the ridge, have transformed the earth into 
animal shapes. The sheets of water contained in the two lakes. 



Lake Monona and Lake Wingra, come so near to the foot of 
th ridge as to give an unimpaired view of the spot for a great 
distance. It needed only the kindling of fires on the summit to 
throw a glare of light across the water and to fill the whole 
landscape with shadows. It was a favorable place for the lighting 
of beacon fires and especially favorable for the practice of sac- 
rificial rites. We can imagine how weird and wild the place 
was when the sacrifice took place. We refer to this locality 
not so much with the intent of describing the place as to 
point out the features which make it typical. 

It will be noticed that the various elements which we have re- 
ferred to as proofs of a religious intent are all here embodied. The 
location is conspicuous; the shapes of the effigies are conformed 
to the ground and give expression to the shapes of the earth; 
the isolation of the spot throws an air of sacredness about it 
and the arrangement of the effigies around a central altar and 
beacon make the group to assume the shape of an enclosure; 
but the contents of the mounds prove conclusively that the 
mounds were erected for a religious purpose. There are many 
other groups similar to this and the fact that all ot them are so 
strikinsf in their location has led the writer to trace out the 
different elements and to discover what features were peculiar to 
the religious works. We maintain that places of sacrifice or of 
cremation were common and that the religious use of certain 
groups can be easily ascertained. There are to be sure many 
other groups of effigies which have not all of the characteristics 
here embodied, yet it is evident that the effigies had frequently a 
sacred or religious character. 




The use of the emblematic mounds as rehgious works occu- 
pied our attention in the last paper. We now, by way of contrast, 
turn to a new phase of the subject, and purpose to consider the 
tokens of agricultural life, which are found among the mounds. 
One reason for taking this subject up at this present time is, that 
it brings us into closer contact with the actual life of the effigy- 
builders. One great difficulty in understanding the emblematic 
mounds arises from the remoteness of the people who erected 
them. This remoteness is owing, not merely to the age in which 
they lived, or to the obscurity which has come upon their history, 
but chiefly to the difference which existed between their customs 
and ours. A wide gulf separates them from us, and it seems 
almost impossible for us to cross or to enter into their state of 
mind and understand their habits. Agriculture, however, fur- 
nishes a bridge by which we can cross and come into contact 
with them. While their tribal organism, social customs and re- 
ligious notions were very different from ours, their agriculture 
was very similar, and this furnishes a common ground on which 
we may stand. The custom of erecting effigies was so unique 
and singular that it obscures the life of the people, and we are 
therefore gratified when we find some custom which is familiar to 
us. It is a very suggestive topic, as it reveals the common life 
of the people and brings us into close contact with native society. 
We shall find that it opens to our view not only the industries 
which were common, but reveals the sedentary condition of the 
Mound-builders. We shall find the agricultural works frequently 
associated with villages, and shall see in them the varied features 
of village life. We shall discover in them also the religious cus- 
toms of the Mound-builders, for the people did not banish their 
religion from their fields, but they brought their effigies into the 
midst of them as protectors and as divinities. We shall find that 
there were difficulties surrounding their agriculture which we do 
not experience, difficulties arising from the incursions of wild 
animals and the liabilities of attack from hostile people. Yet 
there were protections to these agricultural works which make 
the picture all the more familiar to us. We therefore turn to the 
topic with more than usual interest, expecting to find much in- 
formation in reference to the people who erected the effigy 

In treating the subject we shall first give a general review of 
the agricultural habits of the pre-historic people. Second, de- 
scribe the agricultural tokens which are presented in Wisconsin 


and neighboring states. Thirdly, speak of the association of these 
tokens with emblematic mounds ; and fourthly, refer to the rela- 
tive age of the different agricultural works. It is a broad subject, 
and we have found it difficult to condense it into the compass of 
a single chapter. 

I. The evidence that agriculture prevailed in pre-historic times 
will first occupy our attention. It is well known that America 
was an agricultural country before its settlement by the whites. 
There were, to be sure, portions of the continent which were oc- 
cupied by hunting races, where agriculture did not exist, but all 
that portion which was embraced between the great lakes and the 
Gulf of Mexico, and in fact all of the territory of the United 
States, was emphatically an agricultural region. There may have 
been a difference between the different portions of this territory, 
the southern half of it having been given more fully to the pur- 
suit than the northern half, yet there are evidences that horticul- 
ture in one way or another prevailed throughout the whole land. 
It may have been in some places a rude kind of farming and the 
implements used, primitive, consisting of wood and stone hoes, 
with no plows and very few conveniences. Yet the extent of the 
fields cultivated was, in many places, quite astonishing, and the 
tillage was quite remarkable. The products of the soil were 
mainly corn, though in many places there were garden products, 
such as vegetables, beans, squashes and roots. It is said by some 
that there were domestic fowls, such as turkeys, and in the west- 
ern parts of the country tame buffalo and tame elk ; there is, 
however, no evidence that animals were ever used in tilling the 
soil. The men at times assisted in clearing the ground, and in 
the season of the harvest aided in securing the crops, but the 
work of tilling was mainly done by women. The cornfields sur- 
rounded the villages, and sometimes extended from village to 
village, several miles in length, but generally the gardens were 
adjoining the houses, though there are places where garden-beds 
are found somewhat removed from the habitations. 

We now turn to the proof of these points. We shall cite the 
testimony of early travelers and explorers. V/e shall first refer 
to the agriculture which was discovered by the Spanish explor- 
ers. This was chiefly seen in the Gulf States, but extended as 
far north as the mountains of Carolina and Southern Tennessee, 
and prevailed west of the Mississippi River. Ferdinand De Soto 
passed from Tampa Bay in Florida through the whole breadth 
of the Gulf states, crossing the Mississippi between Natchez and 
Memphis, and finally reached the broad plains of the far west. 
From the historians of this expedition we learn that agriculture 
was prevalent all over these states. Great fields of corn were 
traversed by the army, and stores of grain were found in the vil- 
lages. West ot the river there were villages around which were 
extensive cornfields, and the winter supply in villages was 


abundant. The army, fo be sure, at one time passed out beyond 
the agricultural* region and entered upon the great buffalo 
plains which extended from the borders of the Arkansas to the 
foot of the Rocky Mountains, but everywhere else they found 
the tribes depending mainly upon the products of the soil, and 
the wild life of the hunter was the exception. Following these 
Spanish explorers were the French navigators, such as Cartier 
and Champlain. who, with their vessels, struck into the continent 
through the mouth of the St. Lawrence, and with canoes pene- 
trated into the vast interior by the water channels which were 
furnished by the chain of great lakes and the rivers of Canada. 
The descriptions furnished by Champlain are especially worthy 
of notice. 

This heroic man traversed the northern borders of New Eng- 
land, penetrated the interior of New Wnk, and extended his 
wanderings far north and west, toward the Georgian Bay and 
the east coast of Lake Huron. He made a record of his wander- 
ings, which may be read with interest, as they furnish a picture 
of the condition of the country at the time as few narratives do. 
Here were extensive forests; the streams were large and the 
scenery was wild and picturesque, and it required great fortitude 
to enter and to traverse them, for there was great danger of being 
lost in the interminable woods, and the supplies for man were 
comparatively few, requiring the skill of the hunter to draw them 
from the wild retreats. We learn that here even the natives 
themselves were frequently upon the point of starvation, and that 
even the largest villages, such as that at Montreal, called Hoch- 
alega, and that near Quebec, called Tadoussac, at times were 
entirely deserted by their inhabitants, the natives finding the 
deep interior more favorable for subsistence during the lono- 
winter months. 

Still the testimony of Champlain is that agriculture was 
practiced even in the midst of this wilderness, and that the 
villages were all of them surrounded with patches of corn and 
places where vegetables grew. Speaking of the inhabitants 
of Mount Deseret and the Penobscot, he says they were 
an agricultural race. " Patches of corn, beans, squashes, 
tobacco and esculent roots lay near all their wigwams." 
" Their mat-covered lodges could be seen thickly strewn 
alcng the shores, and the natives came out from bays and 
inlets to meet them in canoes of bark or wood." At Port 
Royal the party spent the winter, "enjoying the luxuries of the 

*The reader will find an interesting account of De Soto's iournev in the 
Conquest of Florida, by Theodore Irving, M. A.; Geo P. Putnam "& Son, 
New York, 1869. 

The reader will find Parkman's volume, "Pioneers of France in the New 
World," instructive, as there are in it quotations from Ciiamplain's journal. 
and manv valuable references. 


forest, the flesh of moose, caraboo deer, beaver, otter and hare, 
bears and wild-cats, with duck, geese, grouse and plover, stur- 
geon and trout, and fish innumerable." "At Quebec the natives, 
gorged with food, lay dozing on piles of branches in their 
smoky huts, where through the crevices of the birch bark 
streamed in a cold capable at times of congealing the mercury," 
and yet the same people were before spring-time reduced to a 
desperation by the famine and starvation. "The five confeder- 
ate nations dwelt in fortified villages, and were all alike tillers 
of the soil, living at ease when compared with the famished 

The Ottowas were upon the river which bore their name. On 
the borders of Lake Coulange was their chief seat. " Here was a 
rough clearing; the trees had been burned; there was a rude 
and desolate gap in the somber green of the pine forest. Dead 
trunks, blasted and blackened with fire, stood upright, amid the 
charred stumps and prostrate trees. In the intervening space 
the soil had been feebly scratched with hoes of wood or bone, 
and a crop of maize was growing, now some four inches high." 
At Lake Nipissings Champlain found another tribe. He vis- 
ited "the Indian fields with their young crops of pumpkins, 
beans and French peas; the last a novelty obtained from the 
traders." At Thunder Bay he found the Hurons. " Here was a 
broad opening in the forests; fields of maize, idle pumpkins 
ripening in the sun, p.^tches of sunflowers, from the seeds of 
which Indians made hair-oil, and in the midst of them the Huron 
town of Otouacha." "To the south and other tribes of 
kindred race and tongue; all stationary, all tillers of the soil, and 
all in a state of advancement." 

Here we have a picture of the two sections of country, north 
and south, and although the contrast is great, we find that agri- 
culture was common in both. A similar picture is also presented 
to us by the English colonists. The historian, De Bry, has pre- 
served for us certain descriptions or narratives from which we 
can draw. He has also given an engraving copied from the 
painting of the celebrated Wyeth. From the engraving and the 
records we learn that the villages along the Atlantic coast were, 
all of them, surrounded by fields of corn and garden-beds and 
other tokens of cultivation. The village of Pomeiock has been 
described, and pictures of it have been given. This village is 
represented as in the midst of a cornfield, which was itself sur- 
rounded by forests. There is in the center of the cornfield a 
lodge, and in the lodge a sentinel, placed there for watching the 
growing grain. In the forest there are wild deer. The cabins 
or huts of the natives are clustered together, making a village. 
Around each cabin are gardens full of vegetables of various 
kinds. In the midst of the village are two circles, one for danc- 
ing and the other for religious ceremonies. There are also 


houses for the storing of grain as well as the house of the chiefs 
and the houses where the dead were deposited. The remark in 
reference to the gardens surrounding the houses is made by 
Captain Ribaut, in the discovery of Terra Florida, published in 
London, in 1563. "They labor and till the ground, sowing the 
field with a grain called Mahis, whereof they make their meal, 
and in their gardens they plant beans, gourds, cucumbers, cit- 
rons, peas and many other fruits and roots unknown to us. 
Their spades and mattocks are made of wood so well and fitly 
as is possible." 

From these descriptions we learn that there were two kinds of 
cultivation; the one, in the field, which was conducted accord- 
ing to the native tribal system on a communistic plan; the other 
in the garden, which was more a matter of personal effort, and 
conducted by the individuals, the products of which belonged 
to the family. 

Such was the agriculture seen by the southern colonists. That 
seen by the New England colonists was, however, similar. From 
the narrative of the Pilgrims we learn that agriculture existed in 
New England, although the country here had been depopulated 
by disease, and the natives were not as numerous or the villages 
as large as at the south. A party of Pilgrims spent the first sab- 
bath on an island near which the Mayflower had anchored. Here 
they found pits or " caches " in which the natives had hid their 
corn, and on this they made their first meal. 

At the landing at Plymouth Rock, the Pilgrims saw no Indi- 
ans, but soon after a reconnoitering party found a quantit)- of 
corn and a copper kettle, which they "borrowed" and brought in 
as signs that the country was inhabited. We also read that they 
"found much plain ground, about fifty acres, fit for ploughing, 
and some signs where the Indians had formerly planted their corn." 

Thus, even in New England, the archaeological tokens of agri- 
culture were shown and the descriptions given by the " Pilgrims " 
confirms those given by the explorers in other parts. 

These disti icts are to be sure somewhat remote from the region 
occupied by the emblematic mounds, yet they help us to under- 
stand the agriculture which may have existed among them. 
There are no descripti(Mis of fields or garden-beds or caches 
given to us by explorers, and we can not say that they were seen 
and that the owners of them were known. The missionary- Mar- 
quette, who sailed through the water channel which crosses this 
state, and passed over the portage between the Fox and Wiscon- 
sin rivers, has described villages, but does not seem to have 
noticed cornfields or any other agricultural tokens. The early 
settlers found the Indians cultivating corn, but the)- were migra- 
tory tribes, differing from those which had formerly dwelt here, 
and were not the same people who built the emblematic mounds. 


Still wc learn from these settlers that there were many places where 
corn had been raised, and from their descriptions we may not only 
become acquainted with the agriculture of the native Indians 
but from them we may infer what the system was which prob- 
ably existed among the Mound-builders. The soil in Wis- 
consin is easily cultivated, and there are many open places which 
could be occupied without clearing, and many other circum- 
stances which would favor agriculture. The evidences are that 
the country was permanently occupied. We cannot say that the 
prairies were ever covered with extensive fields, for there are no 
evidences of this. The mounds and earthworks are generally 
situated upon the streams and lakes, and not upon the prairies. 
We do not know that agriculture here was any more extensive 
than Champlain found it to have been in Lower Canada or the 
regions about Lake Huron, yet, judging from the tokens left we 
should say that the people occupying the region depended in 
part upon the cultivation of the soil for their subsistence. There 
was undoubtedly the combination of the hunting life with the 
agricultural life, the people feeding upon the wild game in the 
forests, the fish in the rivers and lakes, the wild rice which grew 
in the swamps, the nuts and berries which were found in the 
openings and marshes, and the roots which grew in various 
places. They probably fixed their villages upon the banks of 
the .streams and lakes, the men spending their time in hunting 
and fishing, leaving the women to plant the corn and attend to 
the garden-beds. The ownership of the fields was probably com- 
mon in the tribe, though each family may have had its own par- 
ticular plot of ground. The harvest was probably gathered and 
was stored in caches near their villages, and then effigies placed 
near the caches to guard them from robbers. Among some 
tribes the grain was stored in cribs or granaries which were built 
on posts about seven feet high. In other places it was stored in 
the loft of the houses, but here it seemed to have been stored in 
caches. The Indians kept the situation of their caches a secret, 
for if found out they would have to supply every needy neighbor. 
" They lived in stockaded villages and had forts or castles near 
their corn grounds for refuge in case of eruption of small maraud- 
ing parties of their enemies." There may have been the same 
system prevalent among the emblematic Mound-builders, for many 
of the fields and garden-beds are found near the sites of ancient 
villages, and there are many points of resemblance between the 
life of the two races, the building of effigies being the main dif- 
ference. At the date of the arrival of the French the Miamies, 
Kickapoos, Winnebagoes, Outagamis or Foxes, and other tribes 
were living in Wisconsin, while all south of this as far as to the 
mouth of the Ohio was held by the Illinois and their allies, 
among whom were a few villages of Shawnees. Among all 


these nations corn was cultivated in quantities and at^riculture 
was common.* 

We conclude, then, that the people who erected the em- 
blematic mounds were agriculturists, for the}' were certainly as 
advanced as were the later tribes, and the evidences given by their 
works is that they were as permanent, and as likely to depend 
upon the products of industry as any of the tribe of Indians. 
There are many points which come up in connection with their 
works, which suggest this. 

II — Our next point will include a description of the archaeo- 
logical tokens. It appears that there are many evidences of pre- 
historic agriculture in this state. 

I . In the first place, there are many relics which could have been 
devoted to no other use than to agriculture. These relics are 
mainl)- of copper, and indicate a very considerable skill in manu- 
facturing. It is not known, for certain, whether these copper tools 
belong to the mound-builders or to the Indians, but they are inter- 
esting as illustrating the conveniences for agriculture, which were 
common. Some of these copper tools are made with sockets and 
a shoulder inside of the socket, and a blunt, short spade-like edge 
below the socket, as if the intent was to put them upon the end 
of a pole or handle and to use them as spades or plows. They 
are generally well wrought and interesting specimens of tool- 
makin<j. Thev var^■ in size from two to four inches in length, 
two to three inches in width, and the thickness of the socket 
from one to two inches. They are superior to the tools which 
were used by the Indians of New England, and even superior to 
the stone hoes and spades which hav^e been found in Tennessee 
and the Southern states. 

Loskiel, speaking of the Delawares and Iroquois, says . "They 
used formerly the shoulder-blade of a deer or a tortoise-shell, 
sharpened upon a stone and fa.stened to a thick stick in.stead of 
a hoe." 

We give a cut of a copper spade or plow (see figure 93,) as an 
illustration of the skill which the Mound-builders had attained in 
manufacturing agricultural tools. This particular specimen was 
found by Mr.Wm. H. Marshall, of Circleville, among the mounds 
of Ohio, but there are several specimens in W^isconsin which are 

*For evidence on these points we refer to the " Mounds of the Mississippi 
Valley, Historically Considered," by Lucien Carr. References will be found 
in this monogram to many early explorers, including;- Goutell, Charlevoix, 
Tonti. Father Marquette, Father Membre, Carver, Lafitau, Hennepin, La 
Hontan, Du Pratz, Schoolcraft, De Laett, Vanderdonck, and manv others, all 
of whom have described the habits of the northern Indians. The southern 
Indians differ from the northern so much that we cannot apply the descrip- 
tions given by the authors who were familiar with them as appropriate to 
Wisconsin, but there are enough descriptions of the tribes who dwelt in this 
region to furnish a picture of the habits prevalent without confounding the 
two sections in one general review. 



identical with it, and we have chosen this because there are so many- 
resemblances between it and the Wisconsin specimens. Several 
such specimens are at present in the cabinet of the Wisconsin 

Figure 93. 

Copper Spade, from 

Figure 94. 
Stone Hoe, from Illinois. 

Historical Society, and several others in the hands of private 
collectors, but they are all of exactly the same pattern, and are 
all beautifully finished, and are admirable for their symmetry and 

Dr. Palfrey speaks of a hoe made of a clam-shell or a moose 
shoulder-blade, fastened into a wooden hoe or handle. Adair, 
speaking of the Catawbas, says that one of their cornfields was 
seven miles in extent, and thinks that the tribe " must have been 
a numerous people to cultivate so much land with their dull 
stone axes." Dr. Rau speaks of the agricultural tools found in 
the Western states. They are of two kinds. The first are spades, 
the second are hoes ; the spades, oval-shaped, more than a foot 
in length, five inches in breadth, three-fourths of an inch thick; 
flat on one side and convex on the other, worked to an edge all 
around ; the hoes semi-circular in shape, six inches across each 
way, an inch thick, the lower end round and worked to an edge, 
with two notches near the top for fastening the handle. (See 
figures 94 and 95). 

Specimens of these agricultural implements haxe been found 
in various places. Dr. Snyder, of Schuyler county, 111., discov- 
ered at one time 3,500 of these implements in a nest, and Squier 
and Davis mention a mound in which were more than 600 of 
them, arranged in two layers, one above the other, and Dr. Coy, 
at Racine, found about thirty such implements, showing that 
they were common in this region. Dr. C. C. Abbott says hoes 
and stone spades are not uncommon in New Jersey. Dr. Lucien 



Carr and Mr. Henr\- Haynes, and Mr. L. M. Hosea have spoken 
of the agricultural implements of Kentucky. All of these auth- 

Figure 95. 

Slone Spade, from Illinois. 

ors siiovv that agricultural tools were common, but none of them 
are C([ual to the copper specimens which have been found in the 
state of Wisconsin. (See figure 96.) 

Figure 96. 
.Slone Hoe or Spade, from Kentucky. 

2. The second class of tokens is the garden-beds. There are a 
few places where garden-beds have been found associated with 
emblematic mounds. These have been so nearly obliterated that 
very few traces of them are now discoverable. We are indebted 
to Dr. J. E. Hoy, of Racine, who has taken the pains to point 
out a series of these, still traceable near that city. Mr. W. H. 
Canfield has also described other garden-beds in the vicinity of 
Baraboo. Dr. I. A. Lapham has described beds as formerly 
existing near Milwaukee, at Mayville. at Theresa, in Dodge 
county, and .several other localities. The best de.scription of 


them is one which was written by Hon. Bela Hubbard, of 
Detroit, and which was pubHshed in the first number of The 
American Antiquarian. These beds were in the state of Mich- 
igan, but were so similar to those found among the emblematic 
mounds that we take this description as an illustration, and shall 
quote freely from it. 

Mr. Hubbard says : "Unusual importance is attached to these 
remains of a lost race, from the fact that they have been almost 
•entirely overlooked by archaeologists, and because those which 
were so numerous and prominent thirty or forty years ago have 
now nearly disappeared." The earliest mention of the garden 
beds is found in the report of Verandrier, who, with several 
French associates, explored this region before 1848. He found 
in the western wilderness " large tracts, free from wood, many of 
which arc everywhere covered with furrows as if they had form- 
erly been plowed and sown. 

Schoolcraft was the first to give the world any accurate and 
systematic account of these " furrows." Indeed, he is the only 
author of note who honors this interesting class of the works of 
the Mound-builders with more than the most meagre mention. 
Observations were made by him as early as 1827. He gives fig- 
ures of two kinds of beds, and he records the fact that the gar- 
den-beds, and not the mounds, form the most prominent, and by 
far the most striking and characteri.stic antiquarian monuments 
of this di.strict of country. Another writer of early date, still 
rejiident of our state, John T. Blois, published, in 1839, in his 
■"Gazeteer of Michigan," a detailed description, with a diagram of 
one kind of the beds. 

The former speaks of "enigmatical plats of variously-shaped 
beds," and further, " nearly all the lines of each area or sub-area 
of beds are rectangular and parallel. 

Others admit of half-circles and variously curved beds with 
avenues, and are differently grouped and disposed." 

The latter says, the beds "appear in various graceful shapes. 
Some are laid off in recti-lineal and curvi-lineal figures, either 
distinct or combined in a fantastic manner, in parterres and scol- 
loped work, with alleys between, and apparently ample walks 
leading in different directions. 

Mr. Hubbard gives descriptions of eight different classes of 
beds, and quotes Mr. Schoolcraft, who says that "the beds are of 
various sizes, covering generally from twenty to one hundred 
acres." He says some are reported to embrace even three hun- 
dred acres, although he does not cite any particular place where 
they were as extensive as this. He refers to a number of old 
settlers who were familiar with them, and mentions the localities 
where they formerly existed. 

"The so-called 'garden-beds' were found in the valleys of the 
St. Joseph and Grand River, where they occupied the most fer- 

AGRic ri run A l works. 


Z -^ 


Figure i. Scale 32 feet to 1 inch. 
Ancient Garden Beds, Grand River Valley, Michigan 



Garden Beds. Grand River Valley, Michigan, 

Figure 3. 
.'^ncie^lt Garden }3etis, St. Joseph River Valley, Michigan. 



Figure 4. 
Ancient Garden Beds, St. Joseph River Vallev, Michigan. 



Figure 5. 
Ancient Garden Beds, Western Micliigan. 



Figure 6 — a. 
Ancient Garden Plats, Kalamazoo County, Michigan. 

Afinfcr/.rruA l works. 




Figure 6— b. 
Ancient Garden Plats, Kalamazoo County, Michigan. 

Figure 6 — c. 
Ancient Garden Plats, Galesburg, Michigat 


EMIiLhnr. I TK • .)ffttK})^. 

Figure 7. 
Garden Beds on Prairie Ronde, Michigan. 

AiiRicr i/rr iL\ i. works. 


Figure 8. 
Ancient Garden-Bed. Kalamazoo, Michigan. 

tile of the prairie lands and burr oak plains, principally in the 
countries of St. Joseph, Cass and Kalamazoo. They consist of 
raised patches of ground, separated by sunken paths, and were 
generally arranged in plats or blocks of parallel beds. These 
varied in dimensions, being from five to sixteen feet in width, in 
length from twelve to more than one hundred feet, and in height 
six to eighteen inches. The tough sod of the prairie had pre- 
served very sharply all the outlines. According to the universal 
testimony, these beds were laid out and fashioned with a skill, 
order and symmetry which distinguished them from the ordinary 
operations of agriculture, and were combined with some peculiar 
features that belonged to no recognized system of horticultural 
art. In the midst of diversity, sufficient uniformity is discernible 
to enable me to group the beds and gardens as in the following : 

1 . Wide convex bed in parallel rows, without paths, compos- 
ing independent plats. Width of beds, 12 feet; paths, none, 
length, 74 to 115. (Figure i). 

2. Wide convex beds in parallel rows, separated by paths ot 
same width, in independent plats. Width of bed, 12 to 16 feet; 
paths, same; length, 74 to 132 feet. (Figure 2). 

3. Wide and parallel beds, separated by narrow paths, ar- 
ranged in a series of plats longitudinal to each other. Width of 
bed, 14 feet; path, 2 feet; length, 100 feet. (Figure 3). 

4. Long and narrow beds, separated by narrower paths, and 
arranged in a series of longitudinal plats, each plat divided from 


the next by semi-circular beds. Width of bed, 5 feet; path, i^ 
feet; length, 100; height, 18 inches. (Figure 4). 

5. Parallel beds arranged in plats similar to class 4 but di\'i- 
ded by circular beds. Width of bed, 6 feet; path, 4 feet; length, 
12 to 40 feet; height, 18 inches. (Figure 5). 

6. Parallel beds, of varying widths and lengths, separated by 
narrow paths, and arranged in plats of two or more, at right 
angles N. and S., E. and W. to the plats adjacent. Width of 
bed, 5 to 14 feet; paths, i to 2 feet; length, 12 to 30 feet; height, 
8 inches. (Figure 6). 

7. Parallel beds of uniform width and length, with narrow 
paths, arranged in plats or blocks and single beds, at varying 
angles. Width of bed, 5 feet; paths. 2 feet; length, about 30 
feet; height, 10 to 12 inches. (Figure 7). 

8. Wheel-shaped plats, consisting of a circular bed with beds 
of uniform shape and size radiating therefrom, all separated by 
narrow paths. Width of beds, 6 to 20 feet ; paths, i foot ; length,. 
14 to 20 feet. (Figure 8). 

3. The third class of tokens to which we shall call attention is 
the cornfields which are found in great numbers in this region- 
Many of these were associated with emblematic mounds, though 
Dr. Lapham maintains that they belong to the later Indians 
rather than to the Mound-builders. On this point we would say 
that deference must be paid to Dr. Lapham's judgment, as he was 
an excellent observer and was very careful and conscientious in 
his statements. Yet we take the ground that the cultivation of 
corn existed at different periods, and was not peculiar to the 
Indians alone. Dr. Lapham makes four periods of occupation: 
first, that marked by the effigies; second, the period of the gar- 
den-beds; third the period of the cornfields; fourth, the period 
of modern settlement. 

We have no doubt as to the successive occupation of the soil,, 
but we question whether this division will hold, for the builders 
of the mounds were just as likely to have been agriculturalists as 
the Indians, and the people who built the garden-beds were ver}- 
likely to have been the builders of the effigies. One argument 
has been used by Dr. Lapham which seems to have some force. 
He says that at Indian fields, near Milwaukee, there was a spot of 
ground where the mounds were covered with garden-beds, the 
rows which were seen upon the level having been continued over 
the mounds, and he thinks that the people who built the mounds 
could not have desecrated them by so placing the garden-beds 
upon their surface. We acknowledge that there was a sacred- 
ness to the effigies, but we doubt whether the pursuit of agricul- 
ture in their immediate x^icinity would have been considered as 
desecrating them. 

A still more forcible argument is taken from the presence of 
an effigy in a cornfield. This effigy was clisco\'ered by Dr. 



Lapham at Milwaukee (Sherman's addition, block 33). (See fig- 
ure 97.) 

The description oi it is as follows: "The ground is covered 
by the corn hills of the present race of Indians. In the midst of 
these hills was an effigy. It may be considered as a rude repre- 
sentation of a wolf or fox guarding the sacred deposits in the 
large though low mound before it. Both of these are of so little 
elevation as to be scarcely observed by the passer-by, but when 
once attention is arrested, there is no difficulty in tracing their 
outlines. The body of the animal is 44 feet and the tail 53 feet 
in length."',. 

Figure 97. 
Wolf in a Cornfield — Lapham. 

This is a remarkable specimen, as it illustrates the fact that 
there was a succession of races. It has been maintained by some 
that the Indians were the same people as the Mound-builders. 
We do not deny that they were a similar race and that their 
mode of life resembled that of the preceding people, but the evi- 
dence is strong that they were not the same people. They may 
have cultivated the same spots of ground and buried their dead 
in the same tumuli. They may have occupied the same locali- 
ties, and depended upon the same resources for their subsistence, 
but the builders of the effigies possessed evidently a different cul- 
tus. We, perhaps, would call them Indians, but they were Indi- 
ans of an unknown tribe. The cornfields which covered and 
obscured this effigy are, at least, suggestive of this point. 

It .seems singular that this effigy should be in the midst of the 
field, and that it should be represented as guarding the mound 
wherein were placed the caches of the Indians, the corn hills 
having been placed upon the effigy, and the pits dug into the 
mounds, but it shows that the ideas of the people were different. 
The locality is one which illustrates the points of similarity and 
of difference between the two people. The Indians had no 
superstition in reference to the protective power of the effigy 
and did not hesitate to reduce it by cultivation. They ordinarily 


depended upon sccrec>- for the safety of their grain. On the 
other hand, the Mound-builders placed effigies in the midst of 
their fields and erected mounds as places where they could store 
their grain, and depended upon the fetichistic character of the 
effigy to protect it. 

There was, as Mr. Lapham says, little sense of the sacredness 
of the emblems, and a very different state of feeling in reference 
to them, among these later tribes. Our point is that these corn 
hills were the work of the later Indians, but the garden-beds 
were the work of the emblematic Mound-builders. On this point 
we refer to the fact that nearly all of the garden-beds are associ- 
ated with emblematic mounds, but there are many places where 
cornfields are found and no mounds discoverable in the vi-cinity. 
The author has seen cornfields in a number of localities; at New- 
London, on the Wolf river; at Madison, on the south bank 
of Lake Mendota; at Lake Koshkonong, and in several other 
localities. In all of these places the evidence was that the corn- 
fields were the works of the later Indians. There are, to be 
sure, a few places where cornfields may be seen associated with 
effigies. One such was discovered by the author, near Kilbourn 
City. The field was overgrown by a forest of maple. There 
were in the vicinity a number of emblematic mounds, and the 
appearance of the effigies would indicate that the two were con- 
temporaneous and were designed as guards or fences to the corn- 

III. We turn, then, to consider the association of the emblem- 
atic mounds with the agricultural works. We shall treat this 
under several separate heads: ist, the location of the garden 
beds and cornfields in relation to the emblematic mounds ; 2d, 
the evidence that they were connected with the effigies as fields 
are with our modern villages ; 3d, that there were provisions made 
for their by placing effigies in the of the fields, and 
4th, that all of these furnish very striking illustrations of the 
real life of the effigy builders. The agricultural works of Wis- 
consin are very important, for they disclose the use of the em- 
blematic mounds as nothing else can ; but the points which we 
have made brings before us a new use of these effigies, and shows 
that there was a practical purpose served by them. The shapes 
and attitudes of the effigies have occupied attention in several 
papers. In some of them it was intimated that the effigies were 
placed as guards for villages and as screens for hunters, and in 
some were used as guards or protections to caches, but the con- 
nection of the effigies with the cornfields is even more suggestive. 

There is no doubt but that these works were erected for some 
practical purpose, and that they are to be connected with the real 
life of the people who erected them. The strongest evidence that 
such is the case is furnished to us by the fact that there are so 
many tokens of an agricultural life found among these mounds. 


This, to be sure, is only one feature. The other elements, such 
as game drives, village enclosures and defenses, present as clear a 
picture of the condition of society as these, but this is a feature 
which interests us on account of its familiarity, and because it 
discloses native life so fully. 

1 . The location of the cornfields and garden-beds is worthy of 
especial attention. There are three methods in which these bed.s 
.seem to be connected with the effigies, and to each of these we 
shall call attention in their turn. We have referred to the gar- 
den beds at Racine. (See map.) Our impression is that these 
beds were connected with a village site; the village site having 
been upon the hilltop, near the bank of the river, and at such a 
place as to secure a defense from the natural situation of it. 
There are many mounds on this hilltop, some of them burial 
mounds, others defensive in their character, and still others 
mounds or circles which were probably used for dances. In 
connection with this group there are graded ways, showing that 
the people were accustomed to pass frequently from the hilltop 
to the valley of the .stream below. These graded ways were 
guarded by circular walls and by effigies, and near them there 
were look-out mounds. The impression is gained from the local- 
ity that the villagers dcDcnded upon their location for defense, 
but that the subsistence was gained in part from these garden 
beds, which were not far away and access to which could be 
gained either by the river or by a trail. There are mounds on 
the points of the land surrounding this village, one of which 
seems to be a lookout. The bluff is precipitous, but on the 
summit of the bluff, opposite, a high conical mound is placed in the spot where an outlook can be gained along the valley 
of the .stream in both directions, as if the was to defend 
the village site in that way. A corresponding look-out mound i.s. 
also placed on the point of the bluff to the, but commanding 
a view further up the stream. The garden beds are north of 
in the valley of the stream. 

Here are two groups of mounds. The one on the isolated 
hill abounding with effigies, and the other on the river bluft 
where only burial mounds are to be found. These two groups 
have been described by Dr. Hoy. He says, on "the point of the 
high bluff, marked 'A' on the map. is a mound six feet high, in 
connection with an embankment 235 feet long. This embank- 
ment is two feet high and 12 feet wide at the point nearest to the 
mound, and tapers gradually to a mere point at its western ex- 
tremity, near a spring. I am informed that there were formerly 
other works connected with this, which have been obliterated by 
cultivation and other improvements." 

" Lapham's Antiquities," pp. 16, 19, 27, 57, 61. 72. Plates IV, VIII, XXI, 


"A little further east, on the same side of the river, is a sin<rle 
low mound, occupying the projecting point of a bluff Opposite 
this, on the north bank of the stream, there is a cluster of mounds 
crowded into a small space, bounded on the east by a long 
mound, and on the west by a 'lizard mound' 80 feet long." 
"The remaining works, situated on the bluff north of these last- 
named, consists of three lizards, one oblong, and six conical 
tumuli, and three enclosures. The two semi-circular embank- 
ments are situated on an almost inaccessible bluff 80 feet high. 
The embankments are slight, not over one foot in elevation, and 
10 or 12 feet broad, but perfectly distinct and well defined. 
There is some evidence that they formerly constituted graded 
ways leading to the river. They are tolerably well situated for 
works of defense, but without the addition of palisades could 
afford no protection. The small circle, from its size and position, 
could scarcely have been designed for a work of defense. The 
' lizards ' are much alike, from two to two and a half feet high ; 
from 12 to 14 feet broad at the shoulders, the tail gradually 
tapering to a point. The longest is 1 30 feet and the shortest 80 
feet in length." We excavated fourteen of the mounds — some 
with the greatest possible care; they are all sepulchral, of a uni- 
form construction, as represented in figure 2. Most of them con- 
tained more than one skeleton; in one instance we found no less 
than seven." The author visited the locality in 1882, in company 
with Dr. Hoy, and formed the impression from the locality and the 
mounds that there were two periods of occupation, the one be- 
longing to the effigy-builders and the other to a later people, 
the village of the emblematic Mound-builders having been placed 
on the isolated hill, but that of the later race having been on the 
bluff, where the cemetery now is. This may be a mere surmise. 
The mounds may all have belonged to one race, the village having 
been on the hilltop, and the burial place on the bluff The loca- 
tion of the garden-beds is, however, suggestive. These were in 
a spot which was hidden away from observation on the rich bot- 
tom land on the south side of a high bluff They were scattered 
over the surface, and among them there were traces of caches or 
pits where the products were stored. There were growing near 
them large elm trees. The trees may have been growing when the 
garden-beds were planted, but with the bluffs sheltering the spot 
from the cold winds and the rich soil favoring the products and 
the absence of all underbrush from the valley there would be no 
need for cutting down the trees, and the impression is that they 
were the garden-beds which belonged to the ancient village of 
the emblematic Mound-builders. 

No description of these garden-beds was ever given, so that we 
do not know their dimensions or their shapes, but from the 
few plats which we have seen we should say that they were 



very similar to those described by Mr. Hubbard, except that there 
were no circular or wheel-shaped beds. They cover the space ot 
about half an acre. 

Another locality where garden-beds have been seen is at May- 
ville. Here are many groups of emblematic mounds. The situ- 
ation of the beds is similar to that at Racine. They are found in 
a rich valley just beneath one of the long ridges which constitutes 
a peculiar feature of this region. There are in the vicinity groups 
of effigies the object of which is at present unknown, but doubt- 
less they all served the convenience of the prehistoric people. 
This is a region where wild game formerly abounded, as it is 
traversed by one of the branches of the Rock river, and is but a 
few miles away from Lake Horicon, where wild birds of all kinds 
are shot even at the present time. We shall not undertake to 
describe the effigies or to fix upon the object or use of any one 
of the groups, but we call attention to the garden-beds in the 
midst of the effigies. It would appear from this that the builders 
of the emblematic mounds, like the later Indians, led a mingled 
life. They both depended upon the agricultural resources and 
natural products, and so were hunters as well as agriculturalists. 
This group of mounds has been described by Dr. Lapham, and 


eENTFiK OF s 2e. I v.mi Wj 

Figure 98. 
Effigies at Mayville. 

several plates devoted to it. We give a map of the region, and 
call attention to the relative position of garden-beds and mounds. 
We do not attempt to explain the groups, but would refer to 
them as evidence that here was the residence of a clan or tribe. 

We give several cuts to illustrate the effigies which are found in 
the vicinity. One is the picture of a group of effigies which was 
situated on the opposite side of the river and two or three miles 
away from the garden-beds. The other two are effigies which 
were found in the midst of a large group which was upon the 



same side of the river. Dr. Lapham's description is as follows : 
"Directly north of Mayville, on the northeast quarter of S. 14, 
T. 12, R. 15, on the eastern declivity, on the base of a ridge, I 
saw some traces of the former garden-beds, with intermediate 
paths. In one place where the beds were examined they were 
100 feet long, and had a uniform breadth of six feet, with a direc- 
tion nearly east and west. The depressions or walks between 

M,ln,„,/^.,,,,j,„H, I, ,,,,,, ,,,,,„. 




ESRajijm-Jiitjr ufjsUi'fnvd mf- i Sfjjrviyil I'i- 7. Ciymiiinf . 

Figure 99. 
Fox at Mayville. 

the beds are about 100 feet deep, and 15 inches wide. The next 
group of mounds noticed was at the northern extremity of a 
ridge near the lower dam and mills, northwest quarter of S. 14. 
There were five elevations, of a circular form ; three of them 
with a projecting ridge, gradually extending to the extremity, 
being of the kind called "tadpoles." We here call attention to a 
note, which is as follows: "This form may possibly have been 
intended to represent the gourd, an ancient American plant, 
doubtless much used by the Mound-builders." On the adjoining 
tract, northeast quarter of S. 15, are some round mounds, among 
them some of larger dimensions than usual, being from 12 to 14 feet 
in height and from 6oto 65 feet in diameter. These several groups 
form a regular row a little west of Mayville. There is a similar 
arrangement the same distance south of the village, commencing 
at a group of these mounds near Sec. 26, which were very accu- 
rately delineated and surveyed by Mr. Crawford. This group is 
the one given in the cut. Mr. Lapham calls one bird a cross and 
the other the trunk and arms of the human body. The animal is 
90 feet distant, is too near the man on the plate. It differs from 
most others of similar form in its slender body, rounded head 
and recurved cordal extremity. The body is for most of its 
length 2yz feet high, the legs, head and tail xV, feet high, but 
the tail gradually slopes down to about six inches at the extrem- 
ity. On the northeast quarter of S. 27 is a group of four mounds 
of which one has the unusual form represented in the cut. 



" The next group is three miles southwest of Mayville, on 
the northwest quarter of the same section, and occupying the 
extremity of one of the remarkable ridges so often mentioned," 
and is represented by a cut. (See figure 21). 

We quote again : " It will be observed that all the figures of this 
group have their heads in one general southwesterly direction, 
except the cross, which, as is almost always the case, has a course 
directly opposite. From the extremity of the highest mound, 
which is on the highest ground, a general view of the wliole is 
obtained, and this may perhaps be regarded as the watch-towei 
or look-out station. It is 400 feet high." 

As to the question whether garden-beds and emblematic 
mounds v/ere contemporaneous we have this to say, that they 
generally seem to be contemporaneous. As an example of the 
association of the two classes of works, we would refer to the series 
of works which Dr. Lapham has described. 

Figure 100. 
Map of Works at Mayville. 

The situation of the garden-beds in the midst of this series ol 
effigies suggest the idea that there was a permanent village resi- 
dence in this locality, and that the inhabitants resorted to the 
\arious hill tops for their bin'ial places, but placed their cornfield 
and garden in the valleys. The groups may have been, some of 
them, used for game-dri\es,and others for jjlaces of assembl)'. 


We call attention to the map and the cuts, for they give indi- 
cations that here was a residence of a clan. (Figs. 98, 99 and 100). 

It will be noticed that there are in this locality many groups 
of mounds, but they are all connected; the distance between 
them not exceeding five miles. The topographical character of 
the country is peculiar. The region is somewhat isolated, but 
there is a communication between the different parts of it by way 
of the valleys which intervene between the ridges and along the 
channels of the river and its branches, so that it would seem that 
it was the abode of one particular class of people, and on the 
supposition that the mound-builders were like the Indians in a 
tribal state, we should say that here a clan once lived. We do 
not pretend to say what the object of the different groups of effi- 
gies was, but we have no doubt that they marked the localities 
where the customs of this clan were carried out. Probably there 
was a village site here, and near the village a burial place (H), 
there were also hunting grounds (D) and places where religious 
ceremonies were performed (B) ; there were provisions for defense, 
such as look-out stations (A), and along with these was the field 
where the clan raised its vegetables and garden products (G), 
the garden-beds being clan property and conducted on the com- 
munistic system. The effigies may have been clan tokens, but 
under the peculiar religious system which prevailed they may 
have served also a practical purpose, the mechanical contrivance 
and the fetichistic character of the effigies having conspired to 
make them useful in two ways. In reference to the garden-beds 
there was but one use: They were erected for horticultural pur- 
poses. On this point all will agree. 

The effigies are expressive of the totem system of a clan. The 
fox and wolf, being the predominant form, there is no doubt that 
it was the settled and permanent abode of some clan which bore 
a name known to the clans surrounding. 

3. The next point we shall refer to will be the assoication of 
the emblematic mounds with garden-beds, with a view to the 
defense which the effigies secured. 

The protection of the garden-beds from the incursion of wild 
beasts would be an object with people who dwelt in the midst 
of the forest. We have been informed by the early settlers 
that one of the great hindrances to agriculture in a new country 
comes from the incursions of wild animals. There are many 
animals which come out from the forests and commit great rav- 
ages. These depredations do not come from the wood-chucks 
alone, but the bear and coon and many other creatures. It was 
the custom with the Indians to place rude hedges or brush fences 
around the cornfields, but with the Mound-builders there seems 
to have been a more permanent arrangement. The association 
of the garden-beds with the emblematic mounds was partly for 



We give a map of a locality which has been referred to before, 
namely, that at Indian Prairie, a few miles north of Milwaukee. 
The name is taken from the fact that there were cornfields here, 
and that the Indians were accustomed, even after the settlement 
of the country by the whites, to return to the ground and camp 
here. There are in the vicinity, the traces of former cultivation, 
and in the midst of these, groups of effigies the location of which 
suggests the idea that they were placed here with a view to 
defense. The peculiarity of the spot is that there was an open 
prairie here in the midst of a forest, showing that it had been 
long occupied, and that the fields were not merely the fields of 
the Indians, but of the Mound-builders as well. 

Figure loi. 
Map of Works at Indian Prairie. 

Dr. Lapham describes it as follows: "We next find in S. 
29 and 30, in T. 8, R. 22, on the west side of the river, at a place 
usually known as Indian Prairie, about five miles north of the 
city of Milwaukee, a very interesting system or group of works. 
They are situated on a beautiful level plain elevated about thirty 
feet above the river, which runs along the eastern border. The 
bank of the river is nearly perpendicular, forming a safe protec- 
tion against attack from that direction. It may be seen from 
the map presented, that these works are further protected on the 
north and south by deep ravines. The works are all included 
within these natural defenses. Whether they were ever protected 
on the west seems doubtful. No trace of embankment or ditch 
could be found nor any indication of other modes of defense 
usually adopted by uncivilized nations. There may have been 
defenses of wood long since decayed. There are two principal 
mounds situated near the middle of this space. They are both 
fifty-three feet in diameter at the base, where they almost touch 
each other, and eight feet high. The southern one has a level 
area of twenty-five feet in diameter at the top. It often occurs in 
a group of works like this that one mound is erected on the 



tail, there would be a portion of the mud displaced, and this 
would project above the surface, forming a slight ridge around 
the body, but the tail would not displace anything. Such is the 
appearance of the effigies; the earth mould retains the shape of 
the animal, but the embankment is without any definite form. The 
intaglio is as purely imitative as if it was a mould, but the wall 
is merely a fragmentary heap of earth. The distinctively fetich- 
istic character of the pits may be seen in the care with which the 
effigies were constructed. The mechanical contrivance was also 
admirable. The hunter could hide himself in the excavation and 
place his head at the openings between the embankments, and 
there watch the animals as they passed over the adjoining plats 

^'""^^ £jM^>,^^mi 


P'igure 103. 
Intaglio Effigy at Indian Prairie. 

of ground. The connection of the pit with the observatory would 
indicate that the hunter was in the habit of standing on the sum- 
mit of the mound and watching the animals as they came out 
from the forest, but while the animals were passing down into the 
valley and up the hill he would go down the path and hide him- 
self, so that the field would be apparently unoccupied. The 
number of the intaglio effigies would indicate the fact that more 
than one hunter was engaged in watching the game, and that a 
number of animals were in the habit of visiting the place. The 
shape of the effigies would indicate the kind of animals which 
were in the habit of committing depredations. The panther and 
bear are seen in the Intaglios. The same is true of the locality 
at Ft. Atkinson. Here, however, the Intaglio is in the shape of 
a panther and the mound is in the shape of a bear. The bear 
did not require as much secrecy, and was not as dangerous. 
ITere the hunter was in the habit of running out and hiding be- 
hind a long mound or ridge, making the ridge a screen, but in 
the other place the whole process was conducted with stealth and 
by the excavations only. The protection of the garden-beds we 
consider to be the main object of the Intaglio effigies. 





Surreved J836-18S2 bj- 






S a- fv <i__y "^ » 4_5 «- 





The use of mounds and earthworks for hunting purposes is 
the topic which we shall next consider. We have referred to 
the game drives, which may be found among the Emblematic 
Mounds, but we now propose to describe these more fully, 
and to bring before our readers the proofs that certain works 
were used by hunters for these purpose. 

I. We shall first speak of the hunting races which formerly 
dwelt upon this continent. Our reason for referring to these 
is because in them we have a picture of the habits and customs 
which probably prevailed among the Mound Builders. The 
hunting races of this continent were numerous and widespread; 
in fact, it would seem as if nearly all the American tribes were 
hunters. The uncivilized tribes were certainly in the habit of 
seeking after game and drawing their subsistance from hunt- 
ing, and even those tribes which were partially civilized were 
also given to the same pursuit. 

I. There are in the writings of the early explorers many de- 
scriptions of the hunting races which were once common, and 
from these we may learn what customs prevailed in prehistoric 
times. Great changes have taken place in the manner of 
hunting since the advent of the whites. The bow and arrow 
and other primitive weapons served the native hunters well, 
but they required more skill in hunting and drawing near 
to the game, as they were necessarily used at a short range. 
The absence of horses also resulted in the same thing. The 
hunters were obliged to contrive various ways by which they 
could entrap the game so as to avoid the necessity of chasing 
them on foot. The modern method of hunting is to mount a 
horse, and to' take the rifle in hand and then ride rapidly and 
shoot as one rides. But the primitive method was to approach 
the game by stealth and to shoot at them from hiding places, 
rarely depending upon the contest of speed for success in over- 
taking them. We can hardly realize the contrast between the 
methods of hunting during the prevalence of the stone age 
and the present methods, except as we read the descriptions 


of the early explorers and compare them with the accounts of 
recent travelers and huntsmen. One thing is noticeable, that 
all of the hunters in the early times, before the introduction of 
guns and horses, depended much more on the various con- 
trivances by which they could surround the game and drive 
them into narrow passage ways, and so get near them and 
slaughter them with their primitive weapons. The skill of 
the hunters was exercised in erecting these screens and 
drives, as much as it was in shooting, though both were com- 
bined in many cases. The hunters were well acquainted with 
the habits of the animals and knew all their haunts and run- 
ways. They relied upon this knowledge as much as they did 
upon their own strength of endurance. They frequently 
moved with their families and all of their possessions into the 
midst of the regions where the game abounded, and thus be- 
came "familiar with the animals in their own haunts. They 
continued wandering about from place to place, according to 
the season, that they might the better hunt the different kinds 
of game, but they were always near the haunts of the animals 
and familiar^ with their habits. Some of the tribes, to be sure, 
depended to a certain degree upon the cultivation of maize, 
• and were at certain seasons stationary, making their villages 
near streams and rich bottom lands during the summer 
months, but migrated to hunting grounds during fall and 

The primitive ways of hunting are very interesting, especially 
as they come before us in the descriptions of the explorers who 
witnessed them, and who were much attracted by their nov- 
elty. ^ There is no doubt that these customs were just such as 
had prevailed among the native races from time immemorial, 
and we may therefore look to these accounts for illustrations 
of the hunting habits which were common in the prehistoric 
times. We must, however, remember one thing, and that is 
that the native races differed among themselves in their 
manner of hunting and in all their habits of life, and should 
therefore consider them in their different geographical loca- 
tions and their different grades of culture. 

2. This brings us then to a second point, the geographical 
location of the races. The continent of America is divided 
into belts, each of which was occupied by a different class of 

'See Parkman's volume on the Ore,2:on trail; Our Wild Indians, bj Col. R. 
I. Dodge; The Red Man and White Man in North America, by G. A. Ellis; 
Gregg's Commerce of the Prairies. 

* Our readers will find the volume edited by Mr. Francis G. Drake, and 
published by Lippincott & Co., suggestive on this point. It appears from this 
that even those tribes among whom agriculture was very extensive, such as 
the Creeks, Choctaws and Chickasaws, were hunters. They continued their 
hunting habits late into history, even up to the time of the war of 1S12; and, 
notwithstanding the missionary work which was done among them, were in 
the huntinsT condition at the time of their removal from the Southern States. 


people, and presented a different grade of culture ; a wonderful 
correlation having existed between the geography and the 
social status of the people. ^ We have shown that there were 
five or six such belts, and that there were also the same num- 
ber of grades in the social status of the people. These facts 
we refer to here, for they illustrate the point which we have 
in view. 

The belts of latitude and social grades are as follows: (r.) 
That belt which is embraced by the Arctic regions. This has 
always been occupied by the Esquimaux, who are emphatically 
fishermen. This is the habitat of the fishermen and here we 
should expect to find tokens indicative of the same mode of 
life, both in the historic and pre-historic times. 

(2.) Next is the belt which wc should call the habitat of the 
hunting races. It is a belt which embraces all that region 
which lies between the Hudson Bay and the chain of the great 
lakes, and which is at the present time occupied by the Atha- 
bascans and Tinneh races. ^ 

(3.) Next to this is the belt which may be said to have 
belonged to the mingled agricultural and hunting state, as 
the races occupying it were both agriculturalists and hunters. 
This belt originally embraced all that region which lies be- 
tween the great lakes and the valley of the Ohio river, but 
extended in an irregular line across the continent, and came 
out upon the Pacific between the mouth of the Columbia river 
and the Gulf of California region, have figured conspicuously 
in American history.^ The descriptions given of the tribes oc- 
cupying this region show that they were agriculturalists, and 
within certain bounds were also sedentary. We consider 
them wild tribes, and can hardly think of them as cultivators 
of the soil, yet they were agriculturalists as well as hunters, 
and it is only because we read of them in their warlike state 
that we consider them as we do, merely savages. All the tribes 
had their own habitat, and within their own bounds were 
accustomed to follow a life peculiar to themselves, some of 
them being more advanced than others, but all within this 
belt had reached a status which was such as we have described. 

(4). A belt of latitude was formerly occupied by races 

' See paper read before the American Association for advancement of 
science, at Minneapolis, September, 18S3. " Synopsis of the Indian Tribes," by 
Albert Gallatin; also, "Our Indian Tribes," by Francis G. Drake. The last 
two volumes contain maps which are valuable. 

' For information on the Tinneh races, see Bancroft's Native Races of the 
Pacific Coast, Vol. III. 

'For information on these tribes see "Morgan's League of the Iroquois," 
'♦ Parkman's Pioneers of France," and " LaSalle and the Discovery of the Great 
West; also, "The Conspiracy of Pontiac," and "Catlin's Indians," and "Indian* 
of Berks County," Pennsylvania, by D. B. Brunner. 


which were purely agricultural.^ This belt is the one which 
is embraced between the Ohio river and the Gulf of Mexico, 
or more definitely considered, between the mountains of 
Tennessee and the Gulf Coast. It was the habitat of the 
Mobilian race, and was at an early date full of the works of 
agriculture. We may suppose that even in the times of the 
Mound Builders that agriculture was common here. 

(5.) A belt may be mentioned which formerly, and even at 
the present time, may be considered as the habitat of village 
Indians. This is the region which is at present occu- 
pied by the Pueblos; a region which is embraced within 
the bounds of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and a part of 
Mexico and California. The races which have occupied it 
are not merely agriculturalists, but are village Indians, for 
they depend upon manufacturing and other modes of sub- 
sistance as well as upon horticulture. 

Thus do we see that the geographical locality had the effect 
to keep certain tribes in the hunting condition, and we may 
take it for granted that tribes located in certain districts 
were always hunters. This would prove as true in the 
pre-historic times as the historic. From this we may learn 
what was the probable condition of the emblematic Mound 
Builders. The question has arisen about them whether they 
were hunters, resembling the later hunting tribes. In what 
grade shall we place them ? What shall we say in reference to- 
their cultus and mode of life? In answer to these questions 
we would say, that both their geographical location, and the 
various tokens which they have left behind them, would indi- 
cate that they belonged to the hunter class, but were in a grade 
of cultus where agriculture as well as hunting were the com- 
mon employments. We would say, however, that the hunting 
habit was much stronger with them than the agricultural. 
Still they resembled very much the hunting tribes which are 
known to history, and differed mainly in the fact that they 
erected emblematic mounds. 

3. A third point arises here. Were the emblematic Mound 
Builders, Indians? The answer to this depends upon the 
definition which we give to the terms. There are three ways 
in which we may use the term Indian: (i.) The native inhabi- 
tants of this continent. (2.) The uncivilized races of the con- 
tinent. (3.) The hunting and savage people who formerly 
committed such depredations upon the settlers and who are 
still called the wild Indians. The term Mound Builders also 
has several definitions. It may mean: ([.) The people who 
erected mounds, whether in this country or in any other. 

'For information on the agricultural tribes of the Gulf States see Adair 
and Bartram's Travels. Also " A migration legend of the Creek Indians,"' 
by A. S. Gatschct, Library of American Aboriginal Literature. Vol. IV. 


(2.) The people who erected the massive and elaborate works, 
which are found in certain localities and who were called 
-Mound Builders par excellence; (3.) It may mean the par- 
ticular people who erected the earth works in some definite 
locality without regard to their skill or nationality, or the 
time in which they existed. The decision, then, as to whether 
the Mound Builders were Indians, must depend upon the class 
of Mound Builders and the class of Indians about which we are 
speaking. We are always inclined to answer the question by 
asking another. What Mound Builders and what Indians? 
To illustrate : The mounds in Ohio are massive and elaborate 
structures, and were evidently erected by a people who were 
advanced in their stage of cultus. The Indians which latterly 
occupied this territory were a rude, uncultivated people, who 
were incapable of erecting these works. The supposition is 
that the original Mound Builders of this locality were at some 
time, previous to the historic period, driven out from their 
habitat, and tiiat the wild tribes came in and occupied the 
region. This migration of the race may have been owing to 
the aggressions of the Iroquois, or possibly to the advent of 
the white man ; but it was sufficient to make an entire change 
in the population. 

Similar changes may have occurred in other regions. There 
is no certainty that the races or tribes which were found in the 
midst of the mounds and earth works of the Gulf States, were 
the descendants of the Mound Builders, for the migration of 
the races would render this doubtful. 

In reference to the emblematic mounds, however, we have 
this to say: That the people who erected them were so similar 
in their habits and modes of life to the tribes which occupied 
the region at the opening of history, that we have no hesita- 
tion in saying that they were hunters as well as agriculturalists, 
and that the hunting habits of the later races furnish good 
illustrations of the customs which prevailed among them. 

II. We turn, then, to the consideration of the Emblematic 
Mounds, as built by hunters. 

The first evidence we shall give is the fact that wild game 
so abounded here. The testimony of all the early explorers 
is to the same effect. In reading their narratives, we fre- 
quently come upon descriptions of the wild animals which 
they saw. These animals were unfamiliar to them, and they 
did not know even their names, yet the narrations shows that 
many wild beasts abounded here, and that the region was 
emphatically hutiting ground. 

The first author which we shall cite, is Marquette the mis- 

This devout missionary, in the year 1673, passed from Green 
Bay up the Fox River, across the Portage and down the Wis- 
consin. He is supposed to have been the first one to discover 


the upper Mississippi. He was attended by Joliet and five 
Frenchmen, in two bark canoes. His journal is interesting, as 
it describes the natural products of the country, and especi- 
ally it brings before us the different kind of wild animals which 
there abounded. We quote various sentences which touch upon 
these points. The first nation he came to was called the Fol- 
]es — Avoines (Menominees), or tJic nation of ivild oats. " We 
left this bay (Green Bay) to go into a river (Fox River) that 
discharges itself therein. It abounds in bustards, duck and 
other birds, which arc attracted there by the wild oats, of 
which they are very fond. We next came to a village of the 
Maskoutens, or ";/rt'//(?;/ ^/_/zrr.'' ' "The French have never 
before passed beyond the Bay of Puans. This Bourg consists 
of three several nations, viz. : Miamies, Maskoutens and Kick- 
apoos. * * * I took pleasure in looking at this Bourg. It 
is beautifully situated on an eminence, from whence we look 
over an extensive prairie, interspersed with groves and trees. 
The soil is very fertile, and produces large crops of corn.^ The 
river upon which we rowed, and had to carry our canoes, looks 
more like a cornfield than a river, inasmuch that we can hardly 
find its channel. As our guides had frequently been at this 
portage, they knew the way, and helped us to carry our 
canoes, over land, to the other river, a distance of about two 
and one-half miles, from which they returned home, leaving 
us in an unknown country. ''^ '•'■ * 

"The river upon which we embarked is called Mesconsln. 
The country through which it flows is beautiful. The groves 
are so dispersed in the prairies that it makes a noble prospect. 
We saw neither game nor fish, but roebuck and buffaloes in 
great numbers. We came into the Mississippi on the 17th 
of June, 1673. We slowly followed its course to the south and 
southeast to the 42° N. latitude. Here we perceived the coun- 
try change its appearance, the islands are covered with fine 
trees, but we could not see any more roebucks, buffaloes, bust- 
ards and swans. There were scarcely any more woods or moun- 
tains. We met, from time to time, monstrous fish, which struck 
so violently against our canoes that, at first, we took them to 
be large trees which threatened to upset us. We saw, also, a 

'The ^vol•d Maskoutens means prairie, but the nation of fire, called fire na- 
tion, is by some supposed to have been derived from the prairie fires. 

This village of the Maskoutens is supposed to have been situated near 
Portao-e Citv. There are many emblematc mounds in this vicinity. " We 
were "Tnrorm'ed that three leagues from the Maskoutens we should find a river 
•which runs into the Mississippi " 

Tlie location of this portage and the marshes described, has been identified by 
the author, and the descripton have been found to be accurate and graplnc. 

8 This statement necessitates us to modify t'le assertion made in our last ar- 
ticle, that Marquette did not see cornfields. Marquette evidently did see corn- 
field's, but we do not know as he witnessed the garden beds which we Avere 
then describing, or that he saw or at least recognized the mounds which inter- 
est us so much. 


hideous monster (a wolf). His head was like that of a tiger, 
his nose was sharp, and somewhat resembled a wild cat ; his 
beard was long, his ears stood upright, the color of his head 
was gray and his neck black. He looked upon us for some 
time, but as we came near him our oars frightened him away. 
* -.r •::- -:> 

" Having descended the river as far as 41° 28' we found that 
turkeys took the place of game, and the Pisikioiis that of other 
animals. We called the pisikious the wild buffaloes because 
they very much resemble our domestic oxen. They are not 
so long, but twice as large. ■'• * '"' The Indians hide them- 
selves when they shoot at them, otherwise they would be in 
great danger of losing their lives. They follow them at great 
distance, but for loss of blood they arc unable to follow them. 
They graze upon the banks of rivers, and I have seen 400 in a 
herd together." "^ * * "The Illinois are well formed and 
very nimble. They are skilled with their bows and rifles. 
They make excursions to the west, to capture slaves. Those 
nations are entirely ignorant of iron tools. Their knives, 
axes and other implements are made of flint and sharp stones. 
They live by hunting and on Indian corn, of which they al- 
ways have a plenty. They sow beans and melons, which 
are excellent, especially those whose seed is red. Every one 
has his peculiar god, whom they call Manitou. It is some- 
times a stone, a bird, a serpent, or anything else that they 
dream of in their sleep. They believe that this Manitou will 

prosper their sports of fishing, hunting and other enterprises. 
» ■?;- w * 

"As we were descending the river, we saw high rocks with 
hideous monsters painted on them, and upon which the brav- 
est Indians dare not look. They are as large as a calf, with 
head and horns like a goat ; their eyes red, beard like a tiger's 
and a face like a man's. Their ta.ils are so long that they pass 
over their heads and between their fore legs, under their belly 
and ending like a fish's tail. They are painted red, green and 
black. They are so well drawn that I can not believe they 
were drawn by the Indians; and for what purpose they were 
made, seems to me a great mystery. As we fell down the river, 
and as we were discoursing upon these monsters, we heard a 
great rushing and bubbling of water, and small islands of float- 
ing trees coming from the mouth of the Pekitanoni (the Mis- 
souri) with such rapidity that we could not trust ourselves to 
go near." 

These extracts from Marquette's journal show what animals 
abounded in the region. They also make known the supersti- 
tious feeling which the Indians had toward animal figures. It 
isnot known whether these inscriptions or picturcswere placed 
upon the rocks by the Indians, but they correspond to the 
Manitous, which were common among the Algonquins. 


Another extract will show the superstition which prevailed : 

"After having gone about twenty leagues to the south, we 
met another river called Ouabouskigou (the Ohio), which runs 
into the Mississippi sG"" N. Before we arrived there, we passed 
through a most formidable passage, to the Indians, who be- 
lieve that a Manitou or demon resides there, to devour travel- 
ers. This demon is only a bluff of rocks, against which the 
river runs with great violence, and being thrown back by the 
rocks, an idol near it, the water makes a great noise, and flows 
with great rapidity through a narrow channel, which is cer- 
tainly dangerous to canoes.'' 

Marquette descended the latitude to 33° N.. and reached a 
village on the riverside called Mitchigamea, supposed to be the 
site of the present town of Helena. " Here," he says, " we 
judged from the bellowing of the buffaloes that some prairies 
were near. We saw quails, and shot a parrot which had half of 
its head red, the neck yellow, and the rest of the body green. 
The Indians made a great noise, and appeared in armies. They 
were armed with bows and arrows, clubs, axes and bucklers, 
and commenced attacking us. These Indians are very courte- 
ous. We then ascended the Mississippi, with great difficulty, 
against the current, and left it in the latitude of 38'' N., to 
enter another river (Illinois), which took us to the lake of Illi- 
nois (Michigan), which is a much shorter way than through the 
river Mesconsin (Wisconsin), by which we entered the Mississ- 
ippi. I never saw a more beautiful country than we found on 
this river. The prairies are covered with buffaloes, stags, 
goats, and the rivers and lakes with swans, ducks, geese, par- 
rots and beavers. The river upon which we sailed was wide, 
deep and placid for sixty-five leagues, and navigable most all 
the year round. There is a portage of only half a league into 
the lake of the Illinois (Michigan). We found on the banks of 
this river, a village called Kuilka, consisting of seventy-four 
cabins. They received us very kindly, and we promised to re- 
turn to instruct them. The chief and most of the youth of 
this village accompanied us to the lake, from whence we re- 
turned to the Bay of Tuans (Green Bay) about the end of Sep- 

Another description of this same region is given by Daniel 
Cox, who wrote in 1789, about one hundred years after the 
time of Marquette. He first describes the country to the west 
of Lake Michigan, called then the Illinouccks : " The country 
surrounding this lake, especially toward the south, is very 
charming to the eye. The meadows, fruit trees and forests, 
together with the fowls, wild geese, etc., affording most things 
for the support and comfort of life, beside the Indian corn with 
which the natives abound. There ramble about in great herds, 
especially about the bottom of this lake, infinite quantities of 
wild kine, some hundreds usually together, which is a great 






1 1 


I I 







PLATE "VIII.— Game Drive on the Kickapoo. 



part of the subsistance of the savages, who live upon them 
while the season lasts, for at those times they leave the town 
quite empty." He next describes the Bay of the Poutoua- 
tamies, or Green Bay, and says: " Into the bottom comes the 
fair river Miscouaqui (Fox), after a course of two hundred 
miles. This river is remarkable upon divers accounts ; first, 
when you ascend it fifty leagues, there is a carriage a little 
above a league and a half, afterward you meet with a lovely 
river, Mesconsin, which carries you down into Meschacebe ; 
next upon this river, especially near the carriage, is a country 
famous for beaver hunting. lii<e that of Bakinam ; thirdly, this 
river and others emptying into it abound in that corn called 
Malonim (wild rice), which grows in the water and marshy, wet 
places, as in the Indies, Turkey, Carolina, etc., but much more 
like our oats, only longer, bigger and better than either that 
or Indian corn, and is the chief food of many nations here- 
about and elsewhere. The nations who dwell on this river are 
Outugamis, Malominis, Nikic, Oualeanicou, Sacky and the 
Poutouatamis before inentioned," 

Another author who has described the animals which were 
hunted by the Indians, is Charlevoix, who wrote letters de- 
scriptive of the Canadas about the year 1722.^^ He describes 
a number of animals, such as the elk, deer and cougar or pan- 
ther, as found among the woods of Canada. These, we have 
reason to believe, also formerly abounded in Wisconsin, for 
hunters and early settlers frequently came in contact with 
them. It is stated, in a volume recently published, that the 
Caribou or American reindeer is also occasionally found in 
the northern part of the State. Charlevoix's descriptions are 
worthy of attention, lie says: "The Indians look upon the 
elk as a good omen, and believe that those who dream of them 
often may expect a long life ; it is quite the contrary with the 
bear, except on the approach of the season for hunting those 
creatures. There is also a very diverting tradition, among the 
Indians, of a great elk, of such a monstrous size, that the rest 
are like pissmires in comparison of him ; his legs, say they, are 
so long that eight feet of snow are not the least incumbrance 
to him ; his hide is proof against all manner of weapons, and 
he has a fort of arms proceeding from his shoulder, which he 
uses as we do ours. He is always attended by a vast number 
of elks, which form his court, and which render him all the ser- 
vices he requires. The elk has other enemies besides the In 
dians, and who carry on full as cruel a war against him. The 
most terrible of all these is the carcajou or Ouincajou, a 
kind of cat with a tail so long that he twists it several times 
round his body, and with a skin of a brownish red. As soon 

* See Charlevoix's Travels, Vol. I. See Sport with the Gun and Rod in 
American Woods and Waters — Article Caribou Hunting, bj Charles C.Ward. 


as this hunter comes up with the elk, he leaps upon him and 
fastens upon his neck, about which he twists his long tail, and 
then cuts his jugular. The elk has no means of shunning his 
disaster but by flying to the water the moment he is seized by 
his dangerous enemy. The carcajou, who cannot endure the 
water, quits his hold immediately ; but if the water happens to 
be at too great distance, he will destroy the elk before he 
reaches it. This hunter, too, as he does not possess the fac- 
ulty of smelling, with the greatest acuteness, carries three foxes 
a hunting with him, which he sends on the discoveries. The 
moment they have got scent of an elk, two of them place them- 
selves by his side, and the bird takes post behind him ; and 
all three manage matters so well, by harassing the prey, that 
they compel him to go to the place where they left the carca- 
jou, with whom they afterwards settle about the dividing the 
prey. Another wile of the carcajou, in order to seize his prey, 
is to climb upon a tree, where, crouched along some projecting 
branch, he waits till an elk passes, and leaps upon him the mo- 
ment he sees him within his reach." 

Thus, we see from the narratives, that wild animals were 
numerous in the region, and that it was a favorable place for 
hunting. The character of the country would also favor this 
idea. There are in the State extensive forests, which, even at 
the present time, abound with wild deer, bear, wolves, foxes, 
and other wild animals. There are at present few elk or 
moose in these forests, and cougars or panthers are rarely seen; 
the probability is that these animals were once common here. 
The prairies, which are interspersed among the oak openings, 
furnish flocks of prairie chickens, pigeons, and quails, while 
the marshes and small ponds are frequented by the heron, 
blue and white crane, bitterns and loons. If the large game, 
such as we have mentioned, are not here yet, there is no 
doubt, then, that many animals which are now only found in 
distant territories, such as the moose, elk, buffalo, bear, wolf, 
panther, antelope and various kinds of deer were common here 
at the time of the Mound Builders, and were hunted by them. 
There are many wild animals still found in the State, such 
as foxes, prairie wolves, deer, and the various fur-bearing 
creatures. All of these were evidently the occupants of the 
marshes, lakes, prairies and forests, and frequent the very 
places which are now covered with the effigies, showing that 
there is a correspondence between the effigies and the native 
fauna. If some of the effigies are at present without their 
corresponding object, yet the fact that these very creatures 
formerly abounded here would prove that the Mound Builders 
had these before them as their model, and erected the mounds 
as images, which were true to life. 

2. We shall take the effigies, then, as evidence that the 
Mounds were built by hunters. If is remarkable that the 


effigies are now found by the side of the lakes and rivers and 
in the very places which the different animals frequented. 

(i.) The location of these efifigies convey the idea that the 
builders of them were familiar with the habits of the different 
animals, and that they knew the very places which they haunted. 
The effigies are not indiscriminately scattered over the country, 
as if they were arbitrary signs which would merely indicate the 
place where the builders had encamped, but they are studi- 
ously located, as if particular regard had'been paid to the hab- 
its of the animals which they represent. This peculiarity of 
the effigies is worthy of notice. VVe have already suggested 
that the emblematic mounds may have been totems. It they 
were totems or tribal signs exclusively, we should expect they 
would be located near the camping places of the people, and 
that no regard would be paid to the animals which abounded 
in the region. The tribes, in that case, would introduce the 
effigies which would serve as tribal signs or totems, even if 
they were the effigies of animals which were not found here at 
all. There is, however, so close a correlation between the em- 
blematic mounds and the native fauna of this region, as to give 
rise to the idea that the inhabitants took the animals which 
constituted the fauna as their models, and imitated them in 
their effigies, and that they paid more regard to the habits of 
the animals than they did to their own notions as to tribal 
signs or totems. The fact that the effigies are placed in the 
favorite haunts, feeding places and drive ways of the various 
animals, and that the effigies were imitative of the very ani- 
mals which were known to have made their haunts in the 
particular locality, would indicate that the hunter idea was 
very powerful with the people who erected the effigies. 

(2.) It would seem that nearly every creature which had ex- 
isted on the soil had been imitated by these remarkable earth 
works. It has been supposed that the effigies were exclusively 
tribal signs, but the animals imitated are too many and too 
varied for this. Totems are generally confined to a certain 
fixed number, and are supposed to represent the names of the 
clan, and had no regard to the number or variety of animals 
which were known. repeated as the 
clan or tribe wandered from place to place, but in that case 
the same animals would appear many times in the effigies, and 
there would be but little variety in them. Here, however, we 
have not a limited number of effigies, but an immense number, 
and so varied that we conclude, that the object was to repre- 
sent the animals themselves, rather than the so-called animal 
tribes. The imitative character of the effigies is then forced 
upon us, even to the eclipse of their totcmic character. 

(3.) Another point is worthy of notice. There are very few 
foreign or exogenous creatures found among the effigies. The 
anknals imitated are such as belong to the fauna of the region. 


and, with one or two exceptions, do not embrace any other. 
The elephant mound has been referred to, and some would 
claim that this (:^'^^y proves familiarity with animals, which 
have long since become extinct, and they would, on this ac- 
count, assign a very great age to the mounds. Others think they 
recognize dragons and crosses among the effigies, and they 
conclude, on this account, that the effigy builders were familiar 
with the historic emblems of foreign countries. They take 
these emblems as signs of the migratory character of the 
Mound Builders, and as evidence of the European or Asiatic 
origin, but the fact that there is such a correspondence be- 
tween the effigies and native fauna of this region, as it has 
been made known by the description of early explorers and 
settlers, proves that the builders of them imitated the wild 
animals only, and it is doubtful if they had an acquaintance 
with these historic emblems, or with extinct animals. 

(4) VVe have, in our former paper, given the illustrations 
of the different kinds of animals which were represented 
by the effigies, and have referred to the remarkable classifi- 
cation of these animals. A few words may be added, how- 
ever, in reference to this classification. We have learned from 
Maj. J. W. Powell and Dr. Washington Matthews, that the 
Indians of the West have a way of classifying the animals 
which is peculiar to themselves. They classify them, it ap- 
pears, according to those habits which they, as hunters, 
have come to recognize in the different animals, as follows: 

1. Rovers. 2. Prowlers. 3. Climbers. 4. Creepers. 5. Swim- 
mers. 6. Flyers. This classification corresponds with the 
one which we have recognized already in the mounds. 

The division which we have made of the effigies, judging 
from the different manner in which they were constructed, 
was as follows: i. Those which represented the land animals. 

2. The water animals. 3. The amphibious creatures. 4. Birds 
or creatures of the air. We, however, made sub-divisions of 
the land animals: (i). The grazing, represented as having 
horns. (2). Fur bearing, represented as having long tails. We 
stated that there was a class of tailless animals which we found 
difficult to put into any division or sub-division, and that here 
was a point which needed to be cleared up. The classification 
which has been derived from the Indians removes the diffi- 
culty. If we divide the land animals into three classes: (i.) 
Rovers. (2.) Prowlers. (3.) Climbers, and leave the am- 
phibious creatures as identical with the (4) creepers, and the 
water animals as identical with (5) swimmers, and the birds 
as identical with (6) flyers, we shall have exactly the same 
classification in the mounds which is found to be prevalent 
among the Indians. We give a series of cuts here to illustrate 
the new classification, and to show that the ^'^gy builders were 
as familiar with the habits of the animals as are the wild Indians 


at the present day. The rovers are represented with horns ; 
the prowlers are represented with long tails; the chmbers,''as a, 
general division, may be said to be represented as without tails, 
and the creepers are represented with four legs, as if sprawlincr.' 
The swimmers are without legs, and the flyers are recognized 
by their wings. The cuts which we use illustrate the^point.' 
See Figs. 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, no. 

Fig. 104. Fig. 105. Fig. 106. Fig. 107. 


\0f Fig. 108. 

Fig. 109. Fig. no. 

The elk and buffalo (104) represent rovers; the fox, wolf and 
mink (105) represent prowlers ; the bear and wild cat (107) re- 
present climbers ; the turtle (108) represent creepers ; the swan 
(109) and hawk represent flyers. These figures are all taken, 
from existing effigies ; the wolf, mink, and swan, and turtle from 
a survey which Dr. Lapham made late in life ; the elk from a 
survey by H. M. Canfield. The former group has been visited 
by the author, and have been found to be situated on the banks 
of two of the small lakes which surround the high prairie at Sum- 
mit, in Waukesha Co. The mink and wolf and turtle were 
near the borders of a pond, and may possibly have been de- 
signed as screens behind which hunters would hide, as they 
watched the game which resorted there. The swan was on the 
bank of a lake called Neosho, and may also have served as a 
screen. It is an interesting effigy, as it is the only one which 
imitates the swan which we have seen. About half a mile from 
the swan is the nondescript earthwork, which may be seen in 
figure 1 10. It is situated on the prairie, remote from the lake, 
and is now covered by the cultivated field, and garden, or door- 
yard of Mr. Sawyer, a resident farmer. A house has been 
built upon one end, and the road crosses the middle part of the 
double walls, which cross one another in the shape of a pair of 
scissors, and are about 600 feet long. They are slightly raised 
above the surface of the ground, but are plainly discernible. 
The object of this effigy is unknown. As to the correspond- 



ence between the method of representing the animals by the 
emblematic mound builders and the Indians, we have remarka- 
ble illustrations in the inscriptions found in the cave at West 
Salem. Here there are not only pictures of the animals, but 
the Indians shooting them with bow and arrow. The cut given 

herewith illustrates the point. 

See Figs. 

Ill, 112, 113, 114. 

F12. III. 

Fig. 112. 

Fig. 113. 

Fig. 114. 

A hunting scene has been found among the mounds. If 
we take the Davenport tablets as genuine, we may say 
that we have a picture which represents not only the ani 
mals prevalent, but the manner of hunting them. A com- 
parison between the tablet and the inscribed rocks in the 
caves, brings out considerable resemblance, and aids us in under- 
standing the emblematic mounds. The pictures of the animals 



in both the tablet and the cave, are really ruder than are 
the images contained in the mounds. There are no represen- 
tations of hunting in the emblematic mounds, yet it has 
been maintained that the bow and arrow are represented. 
See Fig. It is possible, also, that the man mounds were 
intended to represent hunters. It is a remarkable fact, however, 
that many of the man mounds are found near the game drives, 
and in the midst of the effigies of the wild animals, and it is 
possible that the intent was to represent the hunter as watch- 
ing the game as it passed into the drive-ways. Occasionally a 
man mound is accompanied with a panther or some other beast 
or bird of prey, as if the hunter had associated himself with 
some animal, and both together were following after the game 
as it fled. 

There is one point in connection with the pictured cave at 
West Salem. There are certain marks which have not been in- 
terpreted. Fig. 115. It is possible, however, that they were in- 
tended to represent arrows. Dr. D. G. Brinton has given an in- 
terpretation of the so-called turkey tracks found in the inscribed 
rocks at Barnesville. Ohio. He thinks they were intended to re- 
present arrows.* If this is so, then we should conclude that the 
marks which so resemble rude pictures of chickens' legs and 
feet, were also designed to represent arrow heads. 

Fig- US- 

Fig. 116. 

Fig. 117. 

*See Report of the Academy of Science for Philadelphia, for Nov., 1S84. 


There is no doubt that these were intended to represent 
the sign language of Indians, for the figure of an Indian with 
head-dress is found among the inscribed figures. The symbol 
of the sun is also contained among the inscriptions. The 
meaning of the picture is unknown, yet it is possible that 
it is descriptive of a hunting scene, for there are wild 
animals and figures of men scattered indiscriminately, and 
the attitudes of the human figures indicate this intent J The 
similarity between the animals in the inscriptions and those in 
the effigies is noticeable. They prove to be the same as those 
which have been described by explorers as once abounding in 
this region. The rude way of portraying the animals, and the 
imperfect method of making a picture of a hunting scene in the 
inscriptions, may explain how hunting symbols may be recog- 
nized among the emblematic mounds. There are those who 
maintain that they have identified the bow and arrow, and even 
the stone arrow head or spear head in the shape of the 
mounds.3 Qj-, this point we express a doubt and yet there 
may have been many such symbols, though they have rarely 
been recognized among the mounds. 

III. We turn, then, to the hunting habits of the later races 
for our illustration of the use of the emblematic mounds for 
hunting purposes, i. There are many descriptions of the cus- 
toms which were common among the hunters, and these de- 
scriptions may well be quoted here. We have descriptions 
furnished by the Jesuit Fathers, by Champlain, by Charlevoix, 
and many other travelers, which bring before us not only the 
kind of animals which abounded in this region, but the 
methods which the hunters used in entrapping them. The 
first point we shall make is, that the same game abounded here 
that was followed by the hunters elsewhere, and that the 
method of entrapping these animals, which have been described 
by the explorers of Canada and the .region farther east, were 
probably the same as those used by the emblematic mound 

The Indian tribes were not accustomed to erect earthworks 
for hunting purposes, but they were in the habit of constructing 
wooden palisades or fences, and into these frequently drove 
wild animals in great numbers, and then inflicted upon them 
immense slaughter. These wooden contrivances resemble the 
various earthworks which are found among the emblematic 
mounds, and we believe that they furnish an explanation of the 
use of these earthworks. We would, therefore, call especial at- 
tention to the descriptions given. We quote from Charlevoix.^ 
He says : " The most northern nations of Canada have a way 

' See Fi.^. Ill, page 95, also Fig. 120, also Fig. 56. 

'See Lapham'.s Antiquities page 68. also PI. XI. II. See the figure of Bow 
and Arrow so-called, in Am. Antiquarian, Vol. VI., No. 5. 
3 See Charlevoi.K Journal. Vol. I., p. 200. 

PLATE IX.— Game Drive in Sauk County, 




of hunting the elk, very simple and free from danger. The 
hunters divide into two bands, one embarks on board canoes, 
which canoes keep at a small distance from each other, forming 
a pretty large semi-circle, the two ends of which reach the 
shore. The other body, which remains ashore, perform pretty 
much the same thing and at first surround a large tract of 
ground. Then the huntsmen let loose their dogs and raise all 
the elks within bounds of this semi-circle, and drive them into 
the river or lake, which they no sooner enter than they are 
fired upon from all the canoes, and not a shot misses, so that 
rarely any one escapes." 

Champlain mentions another way of hunting, not only the 
elk, but also the deer and caribou, which has some resemblance 
to this. They surround a space of ground with posts, inter- 
woven with branches of trees, leaving a pretty narrow opening, 
where they place nets made of thongs of raw hides. This 
space is of a triangular form and from the angle in which the 
entry is, they form another but much larger triangle. Thus 
the two enclosures communicate with each other at the two 
angles. The two sides of the second triangle are also enclosed 
with posts interwoven in the same manner, and the hunters 
draw up in one line from the basis of it. Then they advance, 
keeping the line entire, raising prodigious cries, and striking 
against something which resounds greatly. The game thus 
roused and being able to escape by none of the sides, can only 
fly into the other enclosure, where several are taken at their 
first entering by the neck or horns. They make great efforts 
to disentangle themselves, and sometimes carry away or break 
the thongs. They also sometimes strangle themselves, or at 
least give the huntsmen time to dispatch them at leisure. Even 
those who escape are not a whit advanced, but find themselves 
enclosed in a space too narrow to be able to shun the arrows 
which are shot at them from all hands. 

2. The superstitions of the Indians explain many things 
about the effigies. The dreams of the hunter are always sig- 
nificant. The hunting expeditions are scarcely ever under- 
taken unless the dreams are favorable. The image of the 
animal hunted for, must appear to the hunter in his dreams, 
or the expedition will prove a failure. This dependence 
upon dreams, differs from the totem system, and yet it is 
similar to it. It is well known that the animal which ap- 
peared in a dream to the young man at the time of his initia- 
tion, always served as a protector to him. The name of this 
animal was his private name. The image of the animal was 
carried with him as a private charm while he was living, and a 
picture of the animal was placed over his body at his death, so 
that he was known by the figure which was his dream totem. 
The hunter depended upon the dream in the same way, but it 
was for a shorter time. These superstitions illustrate the use 


of the effigies in connection with the game drives. They show 
that the emblematic mound-builders depend npon the images 
of the animals for success in hunting. We do not know that 
the efifigies represented their dreams, but we have seen so many- 
evidences that the effigies were used as fetiches that we con- 
clude that they did represent dream animals. 

We imagine that the hunters embodied their dreams in 
the effigies, especially those which are found in connection with 
the game drives. The effigies then, which were erected near 
the game drives, we may suppose, were the animal Divinities 
under whose charge they continued their hunting expeditions. 
They may be regarded then as representatives of the animals 
which appeared in their dreams and assisted them in their hunt- 
ing. They would be, at the same time, signs of success. The 
hunters having placed them near the feeding grounds or the drive- 
ways, would naturally go to the same places, every time that 
their dreams allowed them to follow the particular kind of game 
which they sought after. The signs of former success would 
be there, and so the effigies would be an encouragement to 
them. As mechanical contrivances, the game drives were useful, 
but they were especially useful, as giving encouragement to the 
hunter and making him bold in the chase. 

IV. We shall next give the evidence that the emblematic 
mounds were used at times for hunting purposes, i. We 
shall first give a description of certain game drives which have 
come under our own observation. In the vicinity of Beloit is a 
group of works which we believe to have been designed for this 
purpose. It is situated near the banks of Rock River, on 
the first terrace, just below the bluff, which forms the second 
terrace. The group is composed of two pair of parallel ridges, 
or long mounds. The ridges vary from lOO to i8o feet in 
length, and are about 90 feet apart. They run at right angles 
to the river, but are pointed toward the bluff and form a line 
with a break in the bluff. Near this break and between the two 
sets of parallel ridges, is a low swail or water-course, at the 
foot of which there was formerly a ford across the river. The 
situation of the group of long mounds, between the ford and 
the break in the bluff, would indicate that the intent of the 
builders was to place them in the line of a common runway, 
and that they were designed to be artificial structures between 
which the game would be induced to pass. Confirmatory of 
this idea is the fact that near the parallel drive-ways and 
either side of them are effigies. These are the effigies of 
buffaloes, giving the idea that here was the natural runway of 
buffalo herds. The effigies do not reach entirely across the 
space between the ridges, and yet they reach far enough to 
convey the idea that they may have been used as screens behind 
which the hunter hid. Possibly an artificial screen of wood ex- 
tended across the open space, and other screens may have been 



placed upon the summit of the ridges. The most remarkable 
feature of the locahty is that on the summit of the bhiffs, close 
by, there are two or three other groups or clusters of emblematic 
mounds, which are so situated as to give an extensive outlook 
over the surrounding region. The efifigy most prominent in 
this group if^ that of the turtle, an animal which we have often 
noticed, to be commonly used as an outlook. The view from 

these so-called outlooks is very extensive. They at first, might 
be taken as signal stations, and the group below them might 
be considered as marking the site of a permanent village, but 
there are several objections to this. The situation of the group 
on the bottom-land is not favorable for a village site. The out- 
look from the summit of the mounds on the bluff is too extensive 
for them to be used as signal stations. The break in the bluff 
and the ford would serve well for a game drive, but would be 



i m^ 
H "^ 111" /VIOUNDS, 

■■'>. #,!< 





fh ^7ie vjAnJtT/ of the 



J suRVEfOR b^cte; 




of no advantage to a village site. Half a mile below the game 
drive is a remarkable effigy of a lizard. This is situated on the 
spur of the bluff, and from the summit of it there is a most 
extensive view of all the surrounding country. One standing 
upon this mound can look over the prairies to either side of the 
river, east and west, and get a view of the hills which bound 
the horiezon so as to cnompass nearly all the sides. These hills 
are so far away that no one could see an enemy if approach- 
ing at that distance. If, however, the object was to watch the 
approach of a herd of buffalo, the outlook would serve a very 
useful purpose. The black mass formed by a moving herd 
could be seen at this distance, while a whole army of hostile 
men could not be perceived. We conclude that this &^%y was 


c. ^ 

I It'll I ' U\A\.. f 

''^mt'm^' m 


^ 5,,B^%|^Wd 



g- "9- 

placed at this particular spot for the purpose of watching the 
herd of buffaloes as they came near the ford and runway, and 
that the three groups upon the bluff, and the two clusters of 
groups on the bottom-land were all to be connected together 
as marking the different parts of a buffalo game drive.* 

A second group which we shall describe will confirm this sup- 
position. It is a group situated at Indian Ford, some twenty 
miles north of Beloit. This group is also composed of a series 
of long mounds or ridges, which are placed parallel with one 
another, but also run at right angles to the river bank. 
The situation of the group is similar to that at Beloit. It is 
near a ford. It is between the extensive prairies east of the 
river and another series of prairies north and west. It is near 

*See Fig. iiS, also map of works at Beloit, upper left hand corner. 


the mouth of the Catfish, and at the end of a tongue of land 
which is contained betvv'een the forks of the two rivers. It is 
in just such a place as would prove favorable for a game drive. 
The character of the group differs somewhat from that at 
Beloit, yet resembles it in many particulars. The parallel 
ridges are of about the same length, 150 to 190 feet, and the 
same distance apart. They run toward the summit of the bluff, 
but taper to a point, so that they disappear near the hilltop, 
and become lost in the ground. See Fig. 119. At the lower 
end the ridges are higher and wider. We can imagine 
that the animals which were hastening toward the river, might 
easily be driven into these parallel passages, without noticing 
the mounds or even the screens which might be placed on them. 
At the lower end of the trap or drive there are certain long 
mounds or ridges, which connect the parallels and form a wide 
enclosure or trap. See B, in the figure. There are passage-ways 
between these long mounds and the parallels, but they are so 
narrow as to give an outlet to only a few animals at a time. On 
either side of this enclosure are ridges D which run out diago- 
nally, as if the purpose was to drive the herd into the wide open- 
ing at the upper end and crowd them into a narrow compass and 
then use the ridges as platforms and screens from which the hunt- 
ers can shoot into the herd. What is most remarkable about the 
group is that there is a break A in the bank of the river which 
looks as if it had been used as a path, and had been w'orn down 
by the feet of the animals as they escaped from the drive. Gen- 
erally buffaloes pitch over the banks of rivers, and plunge into 
the water without stopping, but here the herd seem to have 
been impeded by the artificial structure, and only escaped in- 
dividually and separately. 

Another group similar to this has been surveyed by Dr. 
Lapham. See Fig. 120. It is situated near the Wisconsin 
River, on S. 8, 7, 8, R. 4. 

It consists of a series of oblong and conical tumuli and an 
effigy of a bird. The tumuli are composed of sand. "The bird is 
of the same material, and we found it very dif^cult to trace the 
exact outline from this cause. It may be regarded as repre- 
senting a barbed spear head or arrow point. Were we to confine 
our attention to one or two oblong mounds, on the edge of a 
bank, we might be led to regard them as breastworks, or para- 
pets for defense, and perhaps to command the channel of the 
river; but an in spection of the whole group shows clearly that 
no such purpose could have been intended."^ 

This group of mounds is worthy of special notice, for it con- 
tains a series of long ridges near a bluff, and from the location 
of the ridges, we gather the idea that this also was a game 
drive. The break in the bluff is in the midst of the group, 

'See Lapliam, Antiquities, P. 68, PI. XLII, No. i. 



^ cv 







O i) 









1 1^ 






and the ridges seem to point to this break, as if there was a 
path which was familiar to the wild buffalo. We can easily 
imagine the hunters as hiding behind the ridges and making 
them screens from which they could shoot into a herd as it 
made its way along this pathway. Dr. Lapham says that the 
works were not intended for defense. We conclude from the 
inspection of the ground that the group of long mounds to- 
gether with the effigy of the bird or arrow head formed a 
buffalo drive. 

We leave the subject here for the present, but think that 
our readers will see from what has been said that this is one 
use to which the mounds were put. Long ridges and parallel 
mounds like these are very common, but wherever they have 
been seen they will bear this interpretation. We conclude 
that hunting was common among the Emblematic Mound 
Builders, and that this kind of earth work was generally em- 
ployed for the purpose referred to, namely, as a game drive. 



One of the most interesting problems brought before the 
American Archaeologist, is that which comes from the study 
of animal effigies and native symbols, i. The effigies have great 
interest, if for no other reason than for this, that they reveal what 
animals once abounded here, the mounds and earthworks 
frequently preserving the images of these animals as correctly 
as if they were carved in wood, or preserved in sculptured 
monuments. 2. They help us to understand something of that 
remarkable totem system, which found its fullest embodiment 
among the various tribes of this continent. 3. The most im- 

Crosm SecOat- 

Fig. 121. 
Turtle-shaped Mound in Florida. 

portant point of all, however, is that in the animal effigies 
and other symbols, many think they discover traces of the 
migration of these tribes from other continents. This is a 
favorite theme with the European Archaeologists, but the 
solution of it in all probablility will come from American 

I. We shall first consider the animal effigies in connection 
with their geographical distribution. 

We present, with this number, a cut of a mound in Florida. 
The description of the mound may be found in the Smith- 
sonian Report for 1879. ^t was furnished by S. T. Walker, 
whose name has occasionally appeared in this volume. The 
cut has been kindly loaned by Prof. S. F. Baird. The mound 
is situated on a narrow island called Long Key. Mr. Walker 
says : " It is not without some hesitation that I attribute to 
this mound a turtle shape, as such an occurrence among the 


mounds in this part of Florida is an anomaly. Whether the 
shape depicted was the result of deliberate design on the part 
of the builders or the accidental result of irregular ditching, 
I cannot say. The mound proper consists of a structure of 
sand io8 feet long and sixty-six feet wide. It is about five 
feet high at a point marked A in the figure. This constitutes 
the body, or carapace, and tail of the supposed turtle. The 
ditches a a a are distinct and leave the flippers B B and the 
head C at the natural level of the land. The view in section 
Fig. 121, will convey an idea of what I mean. A being the 
mound and B B the ditches, leaving the flippers as before 
stated. In other words, the flippers are not the result of heap- 
ing up sand, their shapes being given by the ditches. Whether 
the design was to give the form of a turtle or not, the result 
was precisely the same, the whole structure having a wonder- 
ful resemblance to that animal. It is not at all improbable 
that the ancient architects had that form in view in the con- 
struction of this mound, as the beaches on this island are still 
the resort of hundreds of turtles, which come up to lay their 
eggs in the sand during the summer, and successful turtle 
fisheries are now carried on in Boca Ciega Bay, immediately 
opposite this point." 

We call attention to this mound because it indicates that 
animal effigies were more numerous and wide-spread than we 
have been accustomed to suppose. This point has been shown 
by the explorations of Mr, W. T. Lewis, in Minnesota, by 
Hon. C. C. Jones, in Georgia, by Mr. Evans, in Iowa, and 
various gentlemen in Ohio. Mr. Lewis writes to Science, Feb. 
13, as follows : " The effigies surveyed by myself are, twenty- 
five in Minnesota, one in Iowa, ninety-six in Wisconsin. 
Among the effigies in Minnesota, are a frog, and a bird effigy 
at La Crescent, also two bird effigies and a quadruped, on the 
Root River, near Hokah, and a fish effigy near the village of 
Dakota, on the same river. The fish is 1 10 feet long.'' It is 
represented as having fins and a doubly divided tail. Mr. C. C 
Jones, in the Smithsonian Report for 1877, describes two bird 
mounds in Georgia. One of these is near Eatonton, Putnam 
county, crowning a high ridge overlooking the little Grady 
creek. "It is composed entirely of boulders of white quartz 
rock, gathered from the adjacent territory. The boulders were 
carefully piled together, and the interstices were filled with 
smaller fragments of milk quartz. Into the composition of 
the structure enters neither earth nor clay. This stone mound 
represents an eagle lying upon its back with extended wings. 
(See Fig. 122.) 

In the construction of the tumulus, respect was had to the 
object imitated, the height of the tumulus, at the breast of 
the bird being between seven and eight feet, its altitude thence 
decreasing toward the head and beak, where it is not more 



than two and one-half feet high, and also toward the extremity 
of the wings and tail, where it has an elevation of scarcely 
two feet. The beak is slightly aquiline, and the tail is in- 
dented. Measured from the top of the head to the extremity 
of the tail this structure is 102 feet long. From tip to tip of 
the wings, measured across the body, we have a distance of 
120 feet. The greatest expanse of tail is 38 feet, the same as 
the lateral diameter of the body. The proportions of the 
neck, head, wings and tail are cleverly preserved. About a 
mile and a half from Lawrence Ferry, on the Oconee river, and 
situated on a stony ridge near the main road, on the planta- 


Fig. 122. 
Bird-shaped Mound in Georgia. 

tion of Mr. Kilichen D. Little, in Putnam county, is another 
of these bird-shaped mounds. Like the former, it is com- 
posed wholly of boulders and white quartz rock, collected from 
the hill on which it stands. Its dimensions do not materially 
differ from these of the tumulus on the Scott place. The tail, 
however, is bifurcated. The head of the bird lies to the south- 
east, and its wings are extended in the direction of the north- 
east and southwest. The entire length of the structure from 
the crown of the head to the end of the tail is 182 feet and 
three inches. For a distance of twelve feet the tail is bifur- 
cated, and just above the part of bifurcation it is twelve feet 



wide. Across the body, and from tip to tip of the wings, the 
tape gave us a measurement of 132 feet. The body of this 
bird, which is evidently lying on its back, is stouter than that 
of the eagle, being seventy-six feet in diameter. Its wings are 
relatively shorter. The proportions of the head, neck and tail 
are tolerably well observed. 

These discoveries in Florida and Georgia, are important 
because they bring to light an important fact in reference to 
the pre-historic monuments of this country. Heretofore we 
have considered that animal effigies were confined to one or 
two localities, namely, Ohio and Wisconsin. But it is now 
seen that they are scattered over the Southern states as well. 

The finds of new effigies are somewhat numerous. We have 
discovered many interesting groups,' and others think^ that 
they recognize some remarkable shapes in them, such as it has 
not b*een supposed that they possessed. A series of earth heaps 
was recently discovered in Minnesota' which, taken together, 
had the shape of a massive serpent, the head being in the 
form of a wide and flattened mound with a diameter of fifty 
feet. We have spoken of the serpent figure in the walls of 
the ancient fort on the Miami river,' and would also refer to 
the works at Portsmouth, Ohio, as still more remarkable than 


In connection with this subject, the bird mound' in Ohio 
should be mentioned. (See Fig. 123). This has been pro- 
nounced by Dr. Brinton to be an arrow- 
head or a feathered arrow, and not a 
bird track. This we doubt, and yet we 
are happy to give the new interpretation, 
as it helps to arouse thought and increase 
.study. The turkey tracks on the in- 
scribed rocks at Barnesville, Ohio, may 
be arrows, but not the effigy at Newark. 
The discoveries by Mr. Lewis also show 
that the effigy builders occasionally 
crossed the borders and extended into 
Root River, on which these discoveries 
were made, empties into the Mississippi opposite LaCrosse. 
It is worthy of notice that in this vicinity is the pictured cave 
— the cave at West Salem. It was at La Crosse, also, that 
Prof Putnam surveyed and excavated some emblematic 
mounds. A few miles north of La Crosse is Trempeleau, 
where emblematic mounds are found in great numbers. It is 


Fig. 123. 


'• See articles on emblematic mounds in this journal, also reports of the Wis- 
consin Academy of Science, and of the Wisconsin Historical Society, Vol. IX. 
2 See Young Mineralogist and Antiquarian, March 25. 

* See American Antiquarian, Vol. I., No. i. 

* See report of Philadelphia Academy of Science for Oct., '84, also parrfphlets 
on Pedographs, by Dr. D. G. Brinton. 


also worthy of notice that on the Root River there is a burial 
mound concerning which there is a tradition. It appears that 
here there was fought a battle between the Sioux and Chip- 
pewas, and that the persons who were slain were buried in this 
mound. There was recently discovered a peculiar relic in the 
same region. It is a terra cotta figure representing a Mexican 
face, with head dress and ornaments. Thus we have in this 
vicinity traces of the early and later occupation. The emble- 
matic mound-builders also occasionally extended down into 
the State of Illinois. We have recently discovered a turtle 
effigy at Rockford, and others have found similar effigies on 
the Kishwaukee, a few miles east of that city. These, how- 
ever, were evidently built by the same people who erected the 
mounds in Wisconsin. The isolated mounds in Ohio, Georgia 
and Florida are interesting on account of their very isolation. 

The native symbolism of America l^as not yet been 
understood, and we do not think that the monuments 
should disappear without a careful study of them. Still 
w^e realize that much care is needed, lest we be carried 
away by unsafe guides. To illustrate, Wm. Pidgeon has been 
generally regarded as altogether unreliable, yet he is being 
quoted as authority by Nadaillac, and Mr. W. T. Lewis thinks 
that he is finding confirmations of his strange assertions. Mr. 
Luther Conant also quotes him, and says that he has discovered 
symbolic structures in Missouri which correspond even to the 
most fanciful figures found in the tabooed volume. An accurate 
survey, and a reasonable interpretation of the monuments will, 
perhaps, correct the vagaries which have come to us from the 
crude and visionary descriptions contained in the book, and 
which have been made current by quotation. 

II. The question arises whether there was not a totem system 
among the different tribes which would occasionally lead them 
to the erection of these effigies. Ordinarily, the tribal signs 
were exhibited in more perishable material. They were 
painted upon cloth and wood. They were drawn on the sides 
of the houses; occasionally inscribed in stone, and are, at the 
present day, found carved into totem posts. Thus we find 
them in every part of the continent. They were formerly in 
New York State, among Iroquois. They are now seen on the 
northwest coast, among the Alaskans. Possibly the animal 
figures which are seen carved in stone among the ruins of 
Nicaragua and Yucatan are designed to represent the same 
thing, namely, the animal worship which prevailed so exten- 
sively. This discovery in Florida is interesting, as it brings 
up one more locality and shows that these figures, whatever 
their significance and object may have been, were as wide- 
spread as animal worship or the totem system was. We throw 
out the suggestion, hoping that others will make it a point to 
seek all such effigies, that we may ascertain the extensiveness 


of the territory in which they appeared and learn more about 

We respectfully suggest that the symbolism found in the 
mounds be compared with that found in the relics. The ani- 
mal shapes in pottery, in carved stone, in inscribed rocks, in 
pictures, should be brought together for comparison, and then 
the traditions prevalent among the tribes, studied with the same 
point in view. 

III. In reference to the introduction of symbols and animal 
efifigies from other continents, a few facts may be mentioned. 
On this point there are necessarily differences of opinion, and 
yet both sides should be considered. 

It is well known that the chief seat of these figures is Wis- 
consin, and that in this State a mound has been discovered 
wWch proves, it is claimed, one of tzuo things; either that the 
effigy builders were very ancient, so ancient that they were 
associated with the mastodon and the elephant, or that they 
were so recently emigrants from the lands where the elephant 
abounded, that they retained the memory or the tradition of 
this animal, and were able to restore its image in the earth- 

In order to ascertain the facts in reference to this, it is now 
necessary for us to examine the effigies which are found else- 
where, and to search among them for traces of the same or 
similar figures. 

*The elephant mound is so far obliterated that it can no 
longer be relied upon as evidence in the case. There are 
those who have visited the region with the express object of 
settling this point, but while one imagines that he sees resem- 
blances in the obscure image which has been subject to con- 
tinued leveling from the plow and from the wear of the ele- 
ments, others conclude that no such resemblances can be dis- 
covered. The survey and plotting of the mounds in Wiscon- 
sin are important, because the identifying of the forms of the 
mounds with the effigies of the animals, will help us to to deter- 
mine what animals were known. So far as investigation has 
been carried on, no other effigy resembling an elephant has 
been discovered, but the images are generally imitative of the 
animals formerly occupying the region. 

Still there are efifigies in other States which, by some, are 
supposed to prove an exogenous origin, as it is claimed that 
these present a symbolism which could not have originated on 
this soil. 

Among the figures which have been thus referred to, is 

*Tlie cut of the elephant mound which has been used in a former paper, 
was through the blunder of the engraver, made out of scale, and cannot be 
relied upon as correct. The cut used by the Smithsonian is a better represen- 
tation of the figure as it was surveyed,' though it is doubtful whether a pro- 
boscis should have been ascribed to the figure. . 


the great serpent in Adams county, Ohio. This, by some, 
has been said to have embodied the old Hindoo tradition of 
the serpent and the egg, a tradition which is connected with the 
cosmogony of the east. The new measurement and descrip- 
tion made by Rev. J. P. McLean, overthrows this theory, 
though another, hke it, has arisen in its place. Miss A. W. 
Buckiand,' in a paper read before the British Association at 
Montreal, claims that this serpent has striking resemblances to 
the serpent figure at Avebury, England, though her essay 
does not state very definitely in what respect the two figures 
resemble one another. There are earthworks in Ohio which 
resemble certain stone monuments in England, but they are 
not the great serpent in Adams county. The earthworks of 
Portsmouth are much more elaborate, and are more deserv- 
ing of study in this connection, for here we find not only the 
covered ways which resemble the tortuous walls at Avebury, 
but we have the circles and horse shoe figures which are found 
in Stonehenge. 

These works extend for several miles along the river, and 
cross the river twice, that is, the walls approach the banks 
of the river, showing that there was a connection between the 
different parts, a ferry, by canoes, having probably existed 
between the ends of the covered ways. There are traces also 
of the serpent effigy and of the sun symbol in these works, 
so that it proves the most striking place where resemblances 
are found, and furnishes the chief evidence that there was a 
common symbolism on the two continents. 

Generally, however, the effigy mounds are destitute of any 
such evidence, and the more they are searched the more do they 
disprove the connection. The analogies which exist are more 
likely to be found in connection with the relics which are ex- 
humed from the mounds, or in connection with the sculp- 
tured and inscribed figures which are at times discovered upon 
the surface of the rocks. The last point, namely, that of re- 
semblance between the animal and symbolic shapes of the 
mounds, and the symbolism which may be traced in the relics, 
has already been studied by certain archaeologists in America. 
A recent letter received from E. Boetticher, of Germany, 
shows that the same idea has been entertained by European 

The geographical distribution of the animal efifigies is here 
worthy of especial notice. New effigies are being discovered 
from time to time in widely separated localities. But those 
which have been discov^ered so far, have only presented 
images of animals which are native to this country, and 
so far as we know, or at least can ascertain with any de- 

* See Journal of Anthropological Institute of Great Britain, Feb., '85, article 
b^' Miss A. W. Buckiand. 



of certainty, do not represent either animals which belong 
to foreign " or symbols which can be ascribed to a foreign 




IV. We now turn to a comparison of the effigies and the relics. 
Do these rehcs contain animal figures which at all resemble those 
contained in the mounds and earthworks and is there any such 
evidence of a latent symbolism in these figures as would enable 
us to understand the object or use of the effigies ? 

These are the enquiries we have set before ourselves. 

It has often been said that the mounds were not mere imita- 
tions of animal shapes but that they were symbolic and had a 
hidden significance. If the study of the relics should reveal the 
same fact we might conclude that the symbolic purpose was the 
most important motive which ruled in their erection. 

The symbolism found in the relics may thus help us to under- 
stand the object or use of the effigies. 

We place the animal mounds at thp very beginning of all 
symbolic art, and maintain that the symbolism found in the 
architecture, art and the pictographs of America were also 
embodied in these. 

The animal figures which were painted upon the sides of the 
houses of the Iroquois may be considered as primitive specimens 
of s\-mbols, as are the pictographs which are found among West- 
ern Indians. If we compare these rude figures to the carved 
images which are contained in pipes and specimens of carved 
stone, or if we compare ihem to the massive effigies which have 
been formed out of ear:h, we should say that they were the 
most primitive class of s}-mbols. If there was any earlier stage 
of symbolism than that found here it has disappeared. These 
were evidently symbolic, for the figures of the animals among 
the Iroquois are known to be clan or tribal signs and the pic- 
tographs are also known to have been symbolic. We believe 
however, that the effigies were also symbolic, for many of them 
were used as mechanical contrivances but were fetichistic in 
their character, symbolic form and mechanical structure, serving 
the double purpose of convenience and fetichistic protection. 

The religious sentiment was doubtless tlie motive which led to 
the erection of these remarkable mounds, but this same motive 
led also to the engraving or carving of similar figures upon pipes, 
to the moulaing of them into pottery, and inscribing them upon 
tablets. The same motive led to the erection of carved pillars 
in front of the houses of the inhabitants of the north-west coast, 
and to the erection of the sculptured stone pillars at the basis of 
the pyramids of Central America. It is very singular that these 
animal forms are found so extensively in all parts of the conti- 
nent and that they form so prominent a feature, in the primiti\-e art 
of America. We judge from this circumstance that they all had 
their origin from one common source, namely, the primitive ani- 
mal worship which prevailed upon the continent but which ap- 
peared most forcibly among the emblematic mound builders. 

This animal worship may not be recognized in all S}'mbols, 


for there are many kinds of symbols. Sun worship and even 
idolatry or human personification may be recognized in some of 
them, yet the earliest or most primitive forms are those which 
present animal figures. We judge that this worship was really 
the first source of the whole s}'stem. This idea we shall endeav- 
or to illustrate, as one of the chief points which arise in connec- 
tion with the study of the subject. The comparison of the em- 
blematic mounds with the carved relics and inscribed figures 
would suggest this, but the study of the figures themselves ena- 
ble us to carry out the point to a much greater extent. 

Turning to these animal figures we shall illustrate from them 
the different stages of symbolic growth. There were many dif- 
ferent lines by which these animal figures are represented, i. In- 
scribed tablets. 2. The line of pictographs. 3. In the line 
of sign language. 4. The carved relics. 5, By architectural 
structures. 6. By hieroglyphics. 

[I.] We shall first speak of inscribed tablets and their ornamental 
relics with the object of ascertaining whether any of the orna- 
mental figures, and especially whether those give 3.x\y evidence 
of being symbolic. The tablets to which we shall refer vvill be 
mainly those which have ornaments which resemble those found 
in the effigy mounds. There are indeed many inscribed tablets 
and shell gorgets which contain figures upon them but generally 
these are so remot: from any representation found in the mounds 
that they only confuse rather than instruct us by the comparison. 
Passing by the various tablets concerning which there have 
been disputes as to their genuineness we shall refer only to those 
which are acknowledged to be symbolic in their nature. The 
Davenport Tablets might be here referred to, for on these there 
are many ornamental figures but they are mere picture and do 
not seem to have been intended for symbols. 

We call attention to the so-called " Berlin Tablet," (see Figs. 
2 and 3 ) This was evidently symbolic. The shape of the tablet 
presents the same contour which many of the ceremonial axes 
do. The same shape is sometimes seen in the earth works them- 
selves. The tablet is inscribed with a certain mystical figure 
which resembles in its outline a feathered creature, 'either duck, 
loon or goose. The tail is spread out, head thrown back, breast 
thrown out, legs drawn up in front, wings drooping behind, but 
all traced by a single unbroken line which fjUows the contour of 
the tablet itself The only separate figures upon the tablet are 
an oblong oar in the centre, a drawing- which resembles a 
duck or cToose in the tail and three dotted circles which resemble 

the sun. 

This tablet we believe is genuine. *It was taken from a mound 
near Berlin, Jackson county, Ohio. The material is fine grain 
sand stone. I t was found by Dr. J. E. Sylvester below- charcoal 

■•■It was (ic^cribed by Dr. .Sylvester in tlie .Vntiquarian for July, 1878. 


and ashes and mucky dirt and burnt sand rock, about five feet 
below the surface of the ground. It was standing on edge unat- 
tended by other rehcs except pieces of graphite and two arrow 

The Gest Stone or " Cincinnati Tablet," is another prehistoic 
relic which shows that symbolism was common among the 
mound-builders. This is supposed to contain a picture of the 
human form but the figure is a complicated one and is not easily 
recognized. * 

The Gest Stoncf has the same characteristics which the Berlin 
tablet has. Its contour is expressive of a familiar symbolic 
shape and is bordered by parallel lines. It contains various 
marks as if it might have been used either for a tally stone or 
tablet or as a sort of calendar to keep the record of feasts. It 
was taken from a mound in Cincinnati in 1 841 and is undoubt- 
edly genuine. The tablets found near Wilmington resemble 
these in some particulars but this has been doubted and so 
we leave it out of the account. The inscribed figure is 
folded together and presents many complicated lines and yet 
contains within the folds a hidden likeness this time to a human 
face and form, rather than to any animal shape. It resembles 
certain inscribed shells in that the human figure is represented 
with limbs and arms so drawn up as to be scarcely recognizable 
and yet when the human figure is once seen it can scarcely be 
lost sight of again, thus making the tablets to resemble 
the puzzle pictures which have iDccome common in modern 

The Berlin Tablet is very interesting, as it shows that animal 
figures were sometimes used in a symbolic manner, and that a 
hidden significance was attached to them. We do not pretend 
to interpret the tablet or to explain its object. It seems, how- 
ever, to have been placed in the mound as a sacred memento and 
possibly may have been used as the shell gorgets were, as a 
personal charm or fetich. It may have been an object which was 
regarded as sacred, and which symbolized the clan totem of the 
person who was buried, or it may have been a symbol of the 
Dream God or personal divinity of the individual, or it may have 
been the official badge of some medicine man, or the plate on 
which the tribal record was perpetuated. We know that such 
figures were common and that they were frequently painted or 
carved upon the grave posts of Indians to indicate the clan con- 
nection and the personal name of the individual. Sometimes 
there were two or three animals inscribed upon a grave post and 
with them, certain arbitrary marks. In these cases one animal 
figure would represent the tribal name, the other the personal 

* See American Antiquarian Vol. I, Xo. 2, and North Americans of Antiqv.ity, 
pp 46, also pamphlet by Roh't Clark. 

f A second stone resembling the Gest Tablet has been found. 



rig. .26— THK liERLIN TAr-LET. 






name and the arbitrary marks would represent the history of the 

[II.] There are many animals in thcpictographs, andwc may see 
that these figures were used in a symbolic manner. There are many 
specimens of pictographs among the prehistoric races of Ameri- 
ca. We have referred to these in another treatise'^ Some of 
these pictographs were the work of the modern Indians, and have 
been explained by them. Odiers, however, are more ancient and 
are without explanation. One peculiarity of most pictographs is 
this, that they contain certain conventional signs, v.-hich were 
used as symbols, to express thought in a secondary manner. 
The primary method of picture writing, is to make the picture 
itself express the thought, but the secondary is to make the 
symbol express it. These two methods are nearly always com- 
bined in pictographs, for we seldom find a picture except, certain 
signs- accompany the figure. Schoolcraft: has described the pic- 
tographs of the Indians. These pictographs are used for a great 
variety of purposes. One use v/as to make a record of the 
treaties which the tribes had made. In these treaty records, 
the picture of certain animals is gi\-en. The animals signify the 
tribal names or totems, but a line is drawn from the eye or the 
heart of each one of the animals to the eye of the others, thus 
signifying that the head and hearts of the tribes were united. 
This was the primitive method of expressing thought by a .sym- 
bol, the line itself being the symbol. 

There were many other signs which were more arbitrar\' and 
more difficult to understand than this, but it shows the method 
of using symbols. The question liere arises whether this kind 
of picture writing was common among the ancient mound- 
builders. There are a fc.v tablets and relics which have been 
exhumed from the mounds whicli w.ould indicate that some 
such method of picture writing was common, but as a general 
thing symbolism the mound-builders was more advanced 
than among the modern Indians. The Davenport tablet is a 
good specimen of picture writing, it resembles a pictograph, but 
contains no .symbols. An interpretation of these tablets has 
been given by Mr. Horatio N. Rust. His interpretation is, that 
both were descriptive of a hunting expedition. The picture of 
the mound represents not a sacrificial scene but an earth 
lodge, in which a dance was being held.f The " prostrate 
forms" represented those persons who were o'/ercome by the 
efforts and excitement of the dance. The " curling smoke " 
arose from a fire in the lodge, indicating that the dance was held in 
cold weather. The '" moon and stars " indicated that the dance 
was held in the night. The " upright marks " around the lodge, 

*See papers on Picture Writing. 

fSee proceecUng.s of tlie Am. Associ.ition at Montreal, .Aug. 1SS2, page 584. 





# m 



c \ 


im tit 





tTfi^ 3 

®^ ] 











represent a fence of sticks set in the ground. The " irregular 
markings " (phonetic characters) which some persons have tried 
to interpret as evidence of a written language, were simply or- 
namental markings, conveying no intelligence. This interpret- 
tion was secured by Mr. R.ust from certain old men of the 
Dakota tribe. His opinion is that the tablet is not very ancient, 
but was the work of the Indians who built niounds in quite 
recent times. We call attention to the tablets because there are 
many animal figures upon them. The query is whether they 
are mere pictographs or whether they have a symbolic signifi- 

If the tablets are genuine, they belong to a low stage of social 
cultus, and would more properly be classed with the relics of 
the modern Indians than the works of the older mound-builders. 

A better specimen of symbolism as connected with picture 
writing is found among the inscribed rocks of Colorado and New 
Mexico. We give a cut of one group of pictographs. (See Fig. 5). 
It is taken from the report of Mr. W. H. Holmes and represents 
the picture writing which was practiced by the cliff dwell- 
ers. In this group of pictographs there were several figures 
which were intended to represent human forms, (i, 2 and 3). 
These were inscribed on the rocks. Others representing human 
forms (4, 5 and 6), were painted in red and white clay. Oth- 
ers (7) represent animals, such as the lizard or alligator. Others 
however, were symbols, (10), and may represent pipes or tribal em- 
blems. They resemble the pattern on pottery of this region. Others 
(i l) arc modern, are supposed to have been made by the Navajo 
Indians. A description has been given by Mr. E. A. Barber* 
and by Mr. Holmes. Mr. Holmes says that in the figures given 
in the ancient work there is no animal resembling a horse and we 
can hardly suppose that artists who would so cleverly delineate 
birds and deer and men, would fail in an attempt to represent an 
animal of so marked a character. 

These pictographs are valuable to the archaeologist as they 
exhibit the grade of civilization reached by the tribes which 
inhabit the cliff dwellings. They are found in the Canon of the 
Mancos, on the bluffs of the San Juan, and arc associated with 
the cliff dwell in cjs. There is no doubt that some of them are 
ancient and it is noticeable that these contain symbols, while the 
modern contain only pictographs. 

Another specimen of picture writing in v.hich animal figures 
arc conspicuous and in which symbolism is apparent is found in 
the same report.f See Fig. 129. The interpretation of this Mr. 
Holmes says : " The most striking group observed is given in 
Fig. I, plate XII. It consists of a great procession of men, 

*Hayden's report for 1876, plate 11, page 20. 

fSee also Am. Antiq. Vol. V, No. 3, and the papers on Picture writing, reprinted 
from the same. 




^ .-. 






birds, beasts and fanciful figures. The whole picture as placed 
upon the rocks, is highly spirited, and the idea of a general 
movement to the right skillfully portrayed. A pair of winged (hu- 
man figures) hover above, as if to watch or direct its move- 
ments . Behind these are a number of odd figures followed by 
an animal resembling a (reindeer) which seems to be drawing a 
notched sledge, containing two figures of men. The figures 
in the main body of the procession appear to be tied to- 
gether in a continous line. Many of the smaller figures above 
and below are certainly intended to represent dogs, while a num- 
ber of men here and there as if to keep the procession in order. 
The symbols of this picture are found in the pipes and not in 
the animals, though the line which connects the animal 
figures may be regarded as symbolic. The object of the picture 
may be to represent a treaty, or the allegiance which certain 
tribes were ready to make with the tribe whose symbol is seen in 
the council house or place where the pipes were stored. In that 
case the animal figures would represent the totems of the clans 
or tribes making the treaty. 

[III]. The sign language should here be mentioned.* There 
arc many specimens of sign language extant. In these, animal 
figures are very common. They are, however, generally the 
pictures of animals in motion, or animal figures attended with 
the sign of speech. 

The " picture caves " at West Salem also contain other speci- 
mens of this sign language. Here the animals are repre- 
sented with the line projecting from the mouth as if it indicated 
speechf These inscribed figures v/ere evidently the work of 
modern Indians. The question arises whether there was any 
such practice among the ancient mound-builders. We do not 
say that sign language was not known to the mound builders, 
but in the pictureswhich have been discovered, so far as we know, 
the symbol of speech is entirely wanting. Still the symbol is 
frequently seen on the sculptured tablets of Mexico and Central 
America, and it is singular it should not have been employed by 
the mound-builders. 

[IV]. Carved Relics. The prevalence of animal figures in the 
carved relics has often been noticed. These are found especially 
in the pipes, but they are also exhibited by the specimens of pot- 
tery and by other relics found in the mounds. We shall not 
dwell upon these but shall turn to the carved and moulded ani- 
mal figures which are common among the Puebloes. These illus- 
trate the point. It may be disputed whether the mound-build- 
ers' relics were symbolic or not but these Pueblo relics certainly 
were. Our authority on this point is Mr. F. W. Cushing. He 

""See Mallory s Sign Language Ethnological Bureau Report, also Am. Antiq. VoL 
VI, No. I. 

fSee Am. Antiq. Vol. VII, No. 2. 


has entered into the study of the subject and has learned the 
significance of man\' of the carved objects. We give here a cut 
which was used by Mr. Gushing in his report.* (See Fig. 130.) 

"Another highly prized class of fetiches are those which are 
elaborately carved. They show evidence in their polish and dark 
patina of great antiquity. They are such as have been found by 
the Zunis about Pueblo, formerly inhabited b}- their ancestors, or 
are tribal possessions which have been handed down from gener- 
ation to generation until their makers have been forgotten." The 
use of these fetiches is chiefly connected with the chase, though 
they are sometimes supposed to possess the guardianship of the 
six regions, a sort of geographic mastership, but the medicine 
powers are supposed to emanate from them. The "prey-gods," 
through their relationship to the chief divinityship, po-shai-an- 
k'ia, "as Makers of the Paths of Life," are given high rank among 
the Gods. There are six species of prey animals, and each spe- 
cies is again di\-ided into six varieties, the color detci mining the 
location or region to which it belongs. The animals represented 
are as follows: The " ^Mountain Lion," which is the hunter god 
of the North ; the Goyote, the hunter god of the West; the Wild 
Gat, the hunter god of the South; the Wolf, the hunter god of 
the East; the P.agle, the hunter god of the Upper Regions, 
and the mole, the hunter god of the Lower Regions. 
The fetiches of the wild cat are represented on the plate. 
They are characterized by short horizontal tails. P^igure i 
represents tlic fetich of " the yellow wild cat" of the 
North. It is of jxHow lime-stone, stained ■v\'ith blood. It 
contains an arrow point of chalcedony bound with blood stained 
cordage and a necklace of white shell beads. I-'igure 2 represents 
"the blue wild cat" of the West. It is formed of Basaltic clay 
of a grayish blue color and is furnished with an arrow point of 
jasper. Figure 4 represents "the red wild cat" of the South. It 
was formed from g\-psum, but changed red by the application of 
paint. It is supplied with the usual necklace and arrow point. 
Figure 6 represents "the white wild cat" of the P^ast. These are 
of compact v.hite lime-stone carefully polished. P'igure 7 rep- 
resents "the many colored wild cat" of the Upper Region. It is 
made of Basaltic cia\', stained black with pitch and pigment and 
furnished v/ith a flake of flint and a small fracrment of stone 
attached to the back, with a binding of sinew. P'igure iS repre- 
sents "the black wild cat" of the Lower Re^rion. It is little more 
than a concretion of compact Basaltic rock. Its natural form 
is suggestive of the animal. Long use has polished it to the hue 
of shining jet. These different fetiches of the wild cat show that 
the symbolic character of the relics became very elaborate. The 
color and the shape of the relic, as well as the ornament attached, 
all have a special significance and indicate the region over which 

*See second anmial report of the Ethnological Bureau . 

rig. 130. -TKLY (-CDS OF THE ZUXIS. 



the divinity presides. Other specimens of carved animals might 
be referred to, but these will suffice to show the symbolic 
character of the animal figures. 

The totem posts lound on the North-west coast illustrate the use 
af animal figures in the family genealogies. These may be regarded- 
as a kind of primiti\-e coat of arms and are very interesting on 
account of the diversified figures contained in them. See I'ig. 131. 


[v.] Architectural ornamentation and sculptured stone facades 
frequently illustrate the .symbolic chaiacter of ananal fi-^ures. 



We give one specimen. It is taken from the drawings of the 
ruins at Xochicalco in Mexico. See Fig. 132. 

We quote the words of Mr. E. A. Allen, the author of " The 
Prehistoric World." He says the ornaments are not stucco 
work, but are sculptured in bass-relief A.s one figure sometimes 
covers parts of two stones, it is plain they must have been 
sculptured after being put in position. The height of this front 
is nearly fifteen feet. In the left hand corner of this sculpture 
will be perceived the head of a monstrous beast with open jaws 



and a protruding tongue. This figure is constantly repeated in 
various parts of the facade. Some have supposed it to be a 
crocodile. The rabbit is another figure which constantly appears 
in portions of the wall. " Some idea may be formed of the 
immc: se labor with which this building was constructed from 
measurements made of several of the masses of porphyry that 

• compose it. One stone was nearly eight feet long by three broad. 
The one with the rabbit is five feet by two and a half This 
specimen is interesting, as it illustrates the prevalence of animal 
figures in the symbolism of the civilized races. 

The hieroglyphics and the accompanying pictures, which are 
found in the Codices will form the last class of objects of which 
we shall at present speak. These illustrate the stage of sym- 
bolism which was common cimong the prehistoric people of Central 

-America. We present a cut which will illustrate this. See Fig. 133. 
This is taken from plate 10 of the Dresden Codex Troano. 

*We are indebted for the use of this cut to Mr. E. A. Allen. 



If the reader will study the liieroglyphs in the cut he will see 
that they were similar to phonetic letters. 

The animal figures are worthy of especial notice. They are 
very rude in their appearance and in their form resemble the 
common picture writing. The symbolic or phonetic characters 
seem to be explanatory of thsm. still the animal figures 
are supposed to be symboli'^, tliough no one knows what the 

meaning of them is. 
A free translation of 
the column of hiero- 
glyphics, according 
to Prof Cyrus 
Thomas, is as fol- 
lows : " Facing the 
south, p'ace the tor- 
tilla of Maize on the 
pan of burnt clay and 
turn itsix times. '"^ 

71iis is not very 
clear and does not 
throw much light on 
the meaning of the 
animal fiizures. 

The animal hang- 
ing to the branch of 
a tree Prof Thomas 
calls a deer. The 
other to the left may 
represent the hare. 
These animal figures 
evidently meant 
something, and it is 
probable that the 
hieroglyphics and 
the pictures explain 
one another, but the 
symbolism is so hid- 
den that we can not 
at present interpret 
either of them. We 
133 -ANi.M.-vL FIGURES IN THE CODEX TRo.-\NO. rcfcr to it licrc mere- 
ly toshow how common animal figures were. The ideographs 
of the Toltecs and the Maya races abound with these animal 

We have now passed over the different parts of the conti- 
nent and have shown that these figures are very common in the 
prehistoric art. A comparison between the different specimens 
*A study of the manuscript Troano pp. 162. Contributions to Am. Etlinolo^y.Vol. 5. 


will show how universal animal symbols were, but it will also 
illustrate the fact that the symbolism became more elaborate, 
mysterious and complicated. The historic connection between 
the animal worship of the effigy mound builders and the sun 
worship of the monument builders has not been shown. What 
is more, it would be difficult to show it, but we think our 
readers will conclude that symbolism has exhibited various 
stages of development in the different parts of the continent 
and yet retained animal figures throughout all grades. 

In passing over the symbolism of the uncivilized races, we 
have seen that there were three grades of it, corresponding to the 
three grades of cultus. We have found its embodiment in many 
and various tokens, such as the inscribed tablets, specimens of 
carved stone, specimens of picture writing and .symbolic effigies. 
In all of these, animal figures Avere common. We now find that 
the symbolism of the civilized races was much more complicated and 
much more difficult to understand. A great change appears, 
giving rise to the idea that possibly there was an intruded 
cultus which had an effect to greatly modify the system among 
these races. Everything is so far advanced that the primative 
symbols have disappeared. 

The figures have now come to contain a secondary meaning 
which is ver)^ remote from that which is suggested by a picture. 
Symbolism has reached a stage which can be compared only to 
the ideographs of the Egyptians. The symbols represent ideas 
but they are neither pictures nor are they phonetic characters, 
but are arbitrary signs which have come to have a meaning 
known only to the priests or to certain classes of the people. 
The meaning was not suggested by anything in the signs 
themselves. The ideographic art has taken a leap, which 
precludes our following the scent. We must come to it from a 
different side, and we may not be able to connect the two lines 
of growth, even if we discover the place where the new form of 
symbolism entered upon its course. In reference to these 
ideographs of the civilized races, we would say that there are 
two or three classes of them, those of Mexico being of one 
grade, and those of Yucatan and Central America of another 
grade, and those of Peru and the United States of Columbia of 
still another. There is, however, a similarity between these 
different grades, and the system in one can be understpod by that 
found in the other. 




The subject of villages and clan residences is one which we 
believe will interest our readers. We propose to treat it in con- 
nection with the Emblematic Mounds. It is a theme on 
which the author has written already/'" but much more material 
has accumulated and the points which were then put forth as 
tentative may be regarded as now established. 

J. The existence of village life among the Emblematic Mound 
Builders will probably not be disputed, yet we shall go over 
a few of the arguments to show that it did exist. 

I. Village life prevailed among the Indians of all classes, both 
those who were in the hunting state and those who had 
reached a high state of agriculture. The Indians of the south, 
discovered by Ferdinand De Soto.f were all of them living in 
villages. Those ir. Illinois and Wisconsin, according to the de- 
scriptions of Marquette, La Salle, and others, were also village 
residents.! The Indians of New York and other states, described 
by Champlain, and those in Indiana and Ohio invaded by Gen'I 
Anthony Wayne were dwelling in villages. The explorers, 
Pike, and Long, and Carver the traveller, describe the Indians 
of Kansas, Minnesota, and Dakota, as situated in villages. 

There may be a question as to whether villages constituted 
clan residences. There were villages in which many tribes seem 
to have been congregated. One such town is described by the 
Jesuit Allouez, as situated on the banks of Green Bay. There 
were here the representatives of six tribes all dwelling near to- 
gether.ll A village of that mysterious tribe, called the Mascou- 
tens, was visited by the same missionary, and the representatives 
of several different tribes were also found dwelling near. 
This was a time however when the Algonquin tribes were very 
much disturbed and were seeking refuge from the cruel Iroquois. 
Catlin speaks of the Mandans on the Missouri River as dwelling 

*See Transact. Wis. Acad. c; i88i-'83. Vol. VI.; p. 154, Ancient ^"illages among the 

Emblematic Mounds. 

tSee Narrative of the Expedition of Hernando De Soto in Hist. Coll. of La., Part H, Translated 
by Richard Hackluyt, 1609; pp. 134-137, etc. 

JSee An Account of Some New Discoveries in North America in 1673, by Pere Marquette Sieur 
Joliet, translated from the French. Hist. Coll. of La.; Part H.; p. 279. 
USee Historj' of Catholic Missions, byj, G. Shea; p. 362. 



in villas^cs by themselves, and has given a map on which are 
traced the wanderings of the Mandans. 

2. The traditions and customs of later tribes furnish another 
proof. It is well known that the Indians of various tribes have 
favorite places to which they resort for generation after genera- 
tion. Some of them have their winter abodes in permanent 
villages and then spend their summers in temporary encamp- 

,rHlGH HILL ai 


^A r Fierrrce/ 



3. The succession of races betokened by earth-works and 
relics would show that village life existed through all the periods. 
The tokens which belong to Emblematic Mound Builders are not 
the same as tliose left by later tribes, yet they are often found in 
the vicinity of villages known to have been occupied even late 

♦See Farkman's Oreson Trail, Chap, XIV. Also Greggs Commerce of the Prairies, Vol. H, p, 37. 


in history, showing that the same localities were chosen for 
residence by the earliest and the latest people. 

4. The similarity of the Emblematic Mound Builders to the 
Indians, in their mode of life and culture, render it probable that 
they were villagers. We have elsewhere divided prehistoric society 
into different grades according to occupation as follows: fisher- 
men, hunters, agriculturalists, villagers or pueblos, semi-civilized 
and ci\-ilized. These different grades of society are found in 
different geographical districts. The emblematic mounds are 
found in the district which naturally belongs to hunters. 

We have no doubt that the Emblematic Mound Builders were 
hunters, but they were also agriculturalists. The fact that 
the effigy mounds are situated on the banks of lakes and rivers 
near rice swamps and in the vicinity of forests, would indicate 
that they drew their subsistence from the same sources that the 
later Indians did. The garden beds which are found in so many 
places, favor the idea that they were agriculturalists and that 
agriculture was with them carried to a higher state than it was 
with the Indians. Permanency of occupation is, however, mani- 
fest in all their works, and we must believe that if the Indians 
even in their most unsettled state, made their abode in villages; 
the Emblematic Mound Builders certainly did. 

5. The identification of village sites by the mounds and earth- 
works is another evidence. This is a somewhat difficult thing 
to do, yet it has been done in certain cases and may be in 
others. We do not say that many villages of the Emblematic 
Mound Builders have been identified, and yet the villages of the 
Indians who built mounds, have been found in such numbers that 
we are able to determine the characteristics of village life in gen- 
eral, and so are aided in our task. There are places where 
villages are known to have existed, and in many of these places 
tokens are found which would indicate that near the same spots 
the effigy builders also had their residence. Several such locali- 
ties have been visited by the writer. One at Lake Koshkonong; 
another at Sauk City on the Wisconsin River; another at Prairie 
du Chien on the Mississippi River; another at Marquette on the 
Fox River; another at Red Banks on the south shore of Green 
Bay. Dr. I. A. Lapham has described several places where 
Indian yillages have succeeded Mound Builder's villages, the tok- 
ens of the different races being left on the same ground. One such 
place was found at Indian hill, near Milwaukee now occupied by 
the cemetery called Forest HoHte; another at Indian Prairie, near 
Humboldt, six miles north of Milwaukee;* another at Waukesha 
on a spot now occupied by the college grounds. P'ig. 134. 

It is worthy of notice that the Mound Builder's villages, the 
Indian villages, and the villages and cities occupied by the white 
population, arc ail in the same localities. What is more, the 

*See Lapham's Antiq. Wis., pp. 12 and 13. PI. IV. 


very spots which are chosen as the most beautiful places for 
homes are those which were also selected by this unknown peo- 
ple. The love of the beautiful prevailed with them as with us, 
and the same appreciation of natural advantages existed among 
them as with modern races. 

6. I'he number of the effigies which surround these village 
sites shows that the Emblematic Mound Builders were residents 
for a longer time and were perhaps more numerous. It is 
noticeable that the effigy mounds are near lakes and rivers, 
and that between the groups of effigies there are burial mounds 
which probably belong to the later tribes. The effigies are, 
however, more elaborate, show more pains-taking, and convey 
the idea that the builders of them were more permanent and 
of a higher grade of culture. The relics of the Indians are, in 
certain localities, more numerous than those of the Mound 
Builders, but the earth-works of the earlier race are mucli more 
numerous than those of the latter. 

The Indians built mounds butare not known to havebuilteffigies. 
Their burial mounds are interspersed among the effigies. The 
groups sometimes are combined together, but more frequently 
separated or at short distances. The effigies are generally upon 
higher ground while the burial mounds of the Indians are on low 
ground or at a height mid-way between the village sites and the 

7. Another reason for supposing that the effigy builders 
dwelt in villages, is that there are so many uses to which their 
works were subjected. We have already described the game 
drives, the garden beds, the signal stations, sacrificial places, and 
have referred to council houses and dance grounds. Tradition 
has often times fixed upon the same places as the si)Ots where 
the Indians had their feasts, their dances and their co mcils, and 
we sometimes find the rings which mark the site of their council 
houses in the midst of the effigies. The corn hills obliterated 
here in places the rings and cover the effigies. We conclude 
from this mixture and combination of tokens and especially from 
the variety of uses, that the same kind of life prevailed. Villages 
were occupied and were built near the same spots. 

8. The proximity of the effigies to the villages of certain tribes 
has given rise to the question whether they were not built by them. 
In examining the villages of different tribes, we have found that 
only one can be taken at all to be effigy builders, namely, the 
Winnebagoes. We are not certain that they built the effigies, 
but there are places where it would seem as if they might have 
been the people. W^e know that the Sacs and Foxes, the Potto- 
watomies, were only temporary sojourners, The Menomonees 
were mere permanent, but the Winnebagoes seem to have been 
the original occupants. The matter would lie between them and 
the Mascoutens; that is, if we were to take any known tribe. The 



INIascoutens disappeared early, and only one or two villages have 
been identified as belonging to them. The Winnebagoes were 
earlier residents, and at the same time remained later. They 
belong to the Dakota stock, and this may account for the differ- 
ence between them and the later Indians. An examination of the 
different localities where Indian villages have been located al- 
ways proves interesting, especially ifwccan reach those places 
where the Winnebagoes dwelt. 

II. We propose to describe some of the villages of the Em- 
blematic Mound Builders. 

[I.] The first will be the village at Waukesha. This has been 
described by Dr. I. A. Lapham. We give a map (Fig. 134) 
which has been reduced from one in Dr. Lapham's book.* This 
map v.-ill show the location of the effigy mounds on the heights 
of ground surrounding the present city. It will be noticed that 
there are effigies on the college grounds. This was the site of 

■ _ o. #*4 



an Indian village at the time of the first settlement of the place. 
The Indian trail was discernible in 1836, at the time that the effi- 
gies were surveyed. The trail has disappeared but the corn hills 
may still be seen, not on the college grounds, but on the low 
grounds surrounding the college campus. The effigies near the 
court house have been d estroyed, but the round mounds on 

*See Antiquities of Wis.. PI. XVIH. and XIX.: p. 26. 

Figs. 134, 135 and 136 all represent the same spot: the first represents the village with its surround- 
ings; the second the village with Indian corn hills; the third with effigies. 



Cutler's place and a k\v of the effif^ies on Bird Hill arc still left 
The pla:e is interesting because it shows that the same locality 
was occupied by the effigy builders and by the later Indians. The 
encampments of the Indians when the effigies were surveyed, were 
on the very spot where we may suppose the more ancient vil- 
lage was located. The corn hills are evidently later than the 
effigies, but they are preserved and so we have the tokens of the 
two races, side by side. 

I. The situation of the Mound Builder's village is here worthy 
of notice. It was on a rise of ground which was surrounded by 

^ O ^ ^ 0. 





swails or marshes, and which overlooks the prairie on which the 

city is now built. The effigies are arranged around the edge 

of the hill, two of them only being on low ground. See Fig. 135. 

2. The arrangement of the effigies is significant. They enclose 


an open space which is perfectly level; two of them are arranged 
parallel to one another, and the trail passes between them. It 
is possible that a stockade formerly stood outside of these effigies 
and that the parallel mounds marked the gate or entrance to the 
village. It will be noticed that the break in the hill is guarded 
by three effigies, and that this is near the so called entrance. 
It is possible that the path or trail which led from the river 
to the village went up at this spot. See Fig. 136. The village 
is guarded on one side by turtle and wolf effigies which seem 
to crowd the hill near the entrance as if to guard the village from 

3. The totem of the village. We find three prevailing types, 
the turtle (2), the wolf (4), the panther (5). and the bird (7). The 
map discloses the fact that a turtle was near the court, 
the eagle on Bird Hill, and a panther on the high hill north or 
east of Bird Hill. The clan emblem cannot be determined by 
these. Dr. Lapham has described a group of four panthers, or 
as he calls them, lizards, on a high bluff, one and a half miles 
north-west of the village, at the crossing of the old Madison road. 
The panther seems to be the prevailing effigy. 

4. The Relics, Dr. Lapham dug into one of the mounds 
marked A. on the map, and found two feet below the original 
surface of the ground, a human skeleton lying on its back sur- 
rounded by stones. The stones had been placed over the body 
and at the sides, forming a rude sort of coffin; in the left hand 
was a pipe of baked clay and a quantity of red paint; in the right 
hand was a smaller pipe cut from a soft stone. At the head were 
found fragments of pottery; portions of two vessels. He says 
the pipes, the red paint, and tlie potterx-, are so many circumstan- 
ces connecting this mound with the recent race. It must be 
remembered, however, that the mound was not an effigy but a 
common round mound, and may have been built by the people 
who made the corn hills, a race succeeding effigy mound builders. 

[II.] The second location where a Mound Builders village has 
been discovered, is at Great Bend. We present a map of the 
region taken also, from Dr. Lapham's book. See Fig. 137. 

It will be noticed that there is here a group of mounds 
composed of caches, effigies and long mounds. Ihese are near 
the so called village. They are on Sees. 24 and 25, T 5, R. 19. 
land belonging to Mr. A. Putnam. Upon the opposite side of the 
river, on the summit of a high ridge, is what may be called a look 
out. On the same side of the river, a mile and a half north and 
west, is a group of effigies, the object of which is unknown. Still 
further west at a place called Crawfordsville, Sec. 28, is a large 
group of effigies which we have called a game drive. It will be 
noticed on the map that the river takes a big bend but that half 
a mile distant is an extensive prairie while in the im.mediate vi- 
cinity of the river are swamps full of wild rice; that the location of 



Jipl C3mrfbridl|^^^|SJ^|i*^^^ 



the village is at the bend of the river near a beaver dam, and that 
there are small streams at either end of the hill on which the vil- 
lage is situated. The village is guarded by the lookout, it is also 
defended by its situation, and yet it is near the place where sub- 
sistence could be gained. The river would furnish fish, the swamps 
wild rice, the forests abounded with nuts and wild fruits; and 
the prairie would furnish game of the larger kind such as buffalo, 
elk, and deer. The game drives are situated at either end of the 
swamp as if the object was to drive the deer into the water, and 
to shoot into them as they ran from the forests or the prairie, 
into- the water. We see then from the map, the habits of the 
people who built the effigies; and that they were not very different 
from those of the later Indians. The writer visited this locality 
at one one time and discovered that it was a villacre. It was the 
first place where village life with all its parts was brought to our 
notice. The following are the features which proved it was a 
village site: ^. 

1. The first object which attracted our attention were the cach- 
es. These were situated on the edge of the beaver dam, in the 
midst of the forest. They were guarded by an immense panther 
effigy.* See map, Fig. 137. : 

These caches were simple pits placed near together. There 
were- so many of them that they made the ground unsafe for walk- 
ing over, for several rods. The caches were on two sides of the 
stream, the beaver dam between them. 

2. The second object was an immense panther Q^gy. This 
was situated on the edge of the hill, the tail extending down to 
the bank of the stream but the head directed toward the entrance 
to the village. The e^gy is a peculiar one; the head is large, the 
legs clumsy, but the body extremely attenuated; the animal front- 
ed the opening to the village and seemed to be looking directly 
into the gate way. 

3. The gate way, or entrance to the village enclosure, attract- 
ed attention. It was composed of mounds about So feet long, 12 
feet wide, arranged at such an an;jle to one another as to guard 
the opening. [I'ig. 138, left end.] The same kind of mounds 
formed a quasi wall around the village; they were placed at the 
edge of the hill, ac intervals along the whole length of the village 
plat; turned as the hill turned and thus formed a partial defense 
to the enclosure. The line does not go entirely around the en- 
closure but a wide space is left at the rear without any walls or 
defense of any kind. An effigy of a panther was placed at the 
opening between two of the long mounds near the north entrance. 
An effigy of a bird was seen at the opening between the mounds 
at the other end. and a whole flock of birds were built in effigy 
on the slope of the hill at this end of the village. A second en- 

*See Amer. Antiq. Vol. VI, No. p. 340, fig. 79, also Chap. V of Book on Emblematic Mounds. 







trance was found :it the side of the village enclosure near the 
river. These two entrances are noticeable in that one opens to- 
ward the caches and the springs at one end of the village, and 
the other opens toward the river and the bottom land near liio 
other end. It is probable that a stockade once stood on the out- 
side of the line of long mounds and that these constituted plat- 
forms for wairiors who might defend the village through loops 
in the stockades; and at the same time were places of resort for the 
villagers in the time of peace. They are hardly wide enough for 
houses to have been erected upon them, though a gentleman ac- 
companying us, drove his buggy upon the top of one of them and 
allowed the horse and buggy to stand, while we continued the 
survey of the mounds. 

4. The situation of the village impressed us. It was on a rise 
of ground which was surrounded by low land on all sides; the 
river on the west, a marsh on the east, spring brooks on the north, 
and a small creek on the south. The ground sloped in all direc- 
tions and was dry and well drained. It was covered with a sturdy 
growth of oak trees and is a very attractive place. 

5. Burial mounds and outlooks. Burial Mounds are situated 
on low ground not far from the village enclosure. A group of 
mounds, one of them an effigy, was found on the hill top on the 
side of the river opposite from the village, about a mile distant; 
and below the hill were two large burial mounds. 

. This we have called the lookout, the effigy we have called the 
altar mound. It is of a peculiar shape composed of four conical 
mounds which make projections resembling legs. Two conical 
mounds with a ridge connecting them, make the bodv. The effi- 
gy probably represents a frog, at least it bears more resemblance 
to that than any other animal.* 

One peculiarity of the effigy is that it is an imitation of the 
shape of the bluff on which it stands; two spurs of the bluff and 
the projections in the effigy correspond. This double effigy, one 
natural and the other artificial, shows the superstition of the peo- 
ple who built the mounds. They recognized the resemblance to 
the animal in the hill and then^placed the c^gy of the animal, 
on top of the hill. The altar mound was so situated that it could 
be seen from a great distance. If there were fires lighted on it, 
they would gleam, not only upon the waters of the river below, 
but their light could be seen for many miles away. This may 
have been the place of sacrifice for the village, or it may have 
been only a lookout mound; but it was evidently connected with 
the village and served either for a defense, or a place of religious 

6. The came drives deserve special mention. One of these is 
situated near the bfink of the river about a mile from the \illage. 
[Sec. 23.] The other is situated on the western cdgG of the rice 

*See Book on Emblematic ^louncls. Chap. VI. Fig. 87. 


5 C 

>-,.^.,J— ..TT-J j 



swamp. [Sec. 28] Thi.s is a very interesting group. It was 
plotted by Dr. Laphani and we have drawn from his illustration, 
and give a picture of it. [See Fig. 139.] It will be noticed that 
most of the effigies are arranged in lines which run nearly par- 
allel. They consist of panthers and turtles; the tail."? of both ex- 
tend to unnatu-t-al lengths, lietween the effigies are oblong mounds 
making angles with the bodies and tails; and before the effigies 
are these bird mounds with their wings extended across the 
group. Other oblong mounds arc scattered about in front of them. 
The group is at present in a pasture but plowed ground surrounds 
it on all sides. The reasons for calling the group a game drive 
are as follows: [a) the situation near the rice swamp and between 
it and the prairie on a tongue of land and in a place which would 
be a very natural run-way for deer, {b.) The effigies form nar- 
row passages through which the deer might pass. If there were 
screens on the mounds the hunters could shoot into the animals 
without being seen, (f.) A larger high mound is situated near 
the water's edge, not visible in the cut. which would serve ex- 
cellently for an observatory by day, or fires might be lighted up- 
on it by night, and the animals attracted by the light. 

7 The location of the village with its game drives, altars, 
burial mounds, and caches, is on an old trail which formerly 
led froni the Indian villages at the mouth of the Milwaukee 
River, past Muskegon Lake, crossing the Fox River at this 
point and then leading on to Indian villages at Koshkonong 
Lake and to others on the Four Lakes. These villages did not 
belong to the same tribe, for the Pottowatomies were at Milwau- 
kee, the Winnebagoes at Koshkonong and on the Four Lakes. 
Yet the trail could be seen long after the country was settled. It 
afterward became the stage route. This trail is laid down in the 
picture; it crossed the group, when Dr. Lapham surveyed it. 

[III.] The Third village to which we shall call attention is the 
so called ancient city at Aztalan. This is the city which excited 
so much attention at the time of its discovery. It was said to be 
the home of the Aztecs and hence the name Aztalan. It is the 
most celebrated earth work in the state and one of the most cel- 
ebrated in the United States. It was visited and described before 
any one knew that there were effigy mounds in Wisconsin and 
the myth concerning it seems to have been remembered when 
the emblematic mounds began to be noticed. It was a favorite 
theory with explorers that the effigies had their heads all direct- 
ed toward the southwest, as if the animals were in (light toward 
Mexico. This is a mere fancy, though the course of the streams 
and the relative situation of the effigies on the banks of the streams 
do bring the heads of many of the effigies in that direction. The 
ancient wall at Aztalan was first noticed by the government sur- 
veyors, it was afterward described by a traveller from the East. 
A description by N. F, Ilycr also appeared in the Milwaukee Ad- 


vcrtiscr, Jan. 1837. The wall and some of the works inside of the 
wall were surveyed by Dr. I. A.Lapham in 1850, but it was not at the 
time ascertained whether the work was an ancient city of the em- 
blematic Mound Builders or not. The opinion has been expressed 
within a few years that it was the work of a colony of southern 
Mound Builders. Dr. Cyrus Thomas advocates this theory and 
speaks of the pyramids as having great resemblance to tho.<r-e found 
at the South, but it is untenable. 

It does not resemble the southern earth works in anything ex- 
cept in having pyramids, and these are in contrast, for they are 
much lower and smaller in every way. The pyramids at the 
south are some of them 60 and 90 feet high. These are not over 
12 feet high. There are works in Tennessee which resemble this 
ancient city, especially the w^alled enclosure at Savannah.* 

These have continuous walls with bastions and truncated pyr- 
amids as well as inner walls the same as this has. The works in 
Tennessee have been taken to be fortifications left by the Span- 
iards under Ferdinand De Soto, but have since proven to be 
Mound Builder's forts or villages. 

In reference to the wall and the works within the wall, it 
should be said that they resemble modern fortifications more 
than any other earth works erected by the Mound Builders. 
The resemblance may be seen in the following particulars: 

a. It has a continuous wall. b. The wall has projections re- 
sembling bastions, c. The wall is thrown out at the corners and 
ends very much as in modern forts, d. It has an out work con- 
sisting of a double wall, which protects one corner of the enclos- 
ure, e. It has a double line of walls inside of the enclosure. 
f. It has platforms at the corners resembling the foundations 
of block houses, g. It has cellars which might be taken as the 
places where the houses of the garrison stood, h. It has an ex- 
cavation inside of the enclosure which might be taken for a well. 
All of these are very exceptional features in a IMound Builders' 

We think, however, that we have discovered, notwithstanding 
. all this, that it is an enclosure which belonged to the Emblematic 
Mound Builders. The writer visited the place in 1849, in com- 
pany with Prof J. J. Bushnell of Beloit; again, in 1875 with Mr. 
Wm. Spoor, and in 1885 with Mr. Porter of Chicago, and Mr. 
Terry of Lake Mills. The results of our observation are as 

I. The wall was made of clay with a mixture of grass 
and twigs or brush wood; but it was not brick.f The 

*See Sm. Rep. 1870, p. 408. 

+Dr. I. A. Lapham thinks that the burning took place after the wall was built, and Dr. J. D. Butler 
compares it to the burning of Coesar's forts. Sec Antiq, of Wis. ; p, 43. 


vef^ctable fibre has decaj-ed owing to the age of the wall. 

2. The bastions,'*' so called, in the walls are mere projections re- 
sembling in some respects the round mounds w hich are frequently 
seen strung along a ridge or long mound. Such long mounds 
or walls have been seen on Mound street in the city of Madison, 
also at Merrill Springs near Madison, at Batavia, twelve miles 
east of Prairie du Chien, and several other places. The so called 
bastions have depressions or sinuses, or possibly the remains of 
a sloping way, as Dr. Lapham has said. They are about 40 ft. 
in diameter, 2 to 5 ft. high; and their mean distance apart is 82 

3. The platform or pyramidsf are not to be compared to the 
pyramids of Mexico, or the pyramidal moundsot the Southern 
States. The elevations do resemble the temple mounds of Ohio, 
especially the platform mounds at Marietta. They were un- 
doubtedly used as platforms for houses or temples. The area at 
the top of onewas 53 ft.; of the other 60 by 65 ft. 

4. The so called cellarst do not differ materially from 
the lodges which are common in Missouri, Tennessee, and 
Minnesota. The huts of the Mound Builders were sometimes 
placed in a row on raised platforms of earth, so as to be higher 
than the rest of the enclosure. 

5. The so called well is a mere excavation with a ring of 
earth around it. There is a natural spring within the enclosure, 
which is at present filled with reeds and marsh grass. 

6. The mounds inside of the enclosure were some of them, we 
think, effigies. II This we could not be sure of. as they have 
been nearly obliterated; but by taking Dr. Lapham's plat we 
could restore them and make effigies resembling the serpent, 
the weasel, and several other animals. Dr. J. W. Vhene thought 
he recognized the serpent in the wall or raised way where 
the cellars are situated. But the excavations on the graded way 
are arranged so as to give the serpentine appearance to the 
ground where they are, and we therefore ascribe these to fancy 
rather than to anv actual or intended figures. 

*The wall is 631 feet long at the north end, 700 feet on the south end. 141 9 feet on the west side, 
total length 27:0 feet. It is 22 feet wide, and from one to 5 feet high. It is too insignificant to be 
mistaken for the walls of a lort." ':The bastions resemble a simple row of mounds. See Antiq. of 
Wis., p. 43. 

f'The ground descends toward the river abruptly near the western wall. The highest point is at 
the southwest corner, occupied by a square truncated mound, rising by successive steps- the en- 
closing walls curve around this. It is further guarded bv two outer walls This was the most 
sacred place as well as the highest. See Antiq. of Wis., p. 45. 

+ "The excavations are not to be confounded with the hiding places or caches. The rings or cir- 
cles constitute a very peculiar feature and are supposed to be the remains ot mud houses The whole 
interior of the enclosure appears to h,ave either been excavated, or thrown up into mounds or ridges, 
the pits or irregular cvcavations being quite numerous. The want of regularity is opposed to the 
opinion that they were the cellars of buildings. See Antiq. of Wis., p. 47. 

II "We may suppose it to have been a place of worship. There is no guarded opening or gateway 
into the enclosure. It can only be entered by W2ter or by climbing over the walls. The fort is en- 
tirely commanded from the summit of a ridge. The people of Aztalan were a ditferent people from 
those who erected the animal shaped mounds. This location may possibly have been occupied by 
a colony of Mexicans. At the time of our survey a crop of wheat was growing on the south pait of 
the enclosure. Antiq. of Wis., pp. 49 and 5o. 


y. There are effigies near the ancient city.* One group we 
discovered in the cemetery a mile north of the village, consisting 
of three turtle effigies and several burial mounds. A group in the 
pasture across the road consisted of a turtle, bird, and a very in- 
teresting squirrel effigy. Another near a barn belonging to Mr. 
Boutell, resembles a massive panther. An effigy mound may be 
seen on the bluff close by the enclosure overlooking it from the 
other side of the river. 

8. There is a lookout mound on a high hill, half a mile north 
of the cemetery, a mile and a half north from the ancient city. 
This commands a view of the enclosure with its platforms and 
lodges. And at the same time presents a prospect over the open 
valley of the river for several miles north. There are lookout 
mounds on all the hills surrounding this. 

9. Aztalan was a central place. It was once selected for the 
capitol of the state. It was a place where Indian trails centered. 
There were formerly Indian villages near it. Lake Koshkonong, 
Lake Winnebago, the Four Lakes, Fox Lake, Ripley Lake, are 
all within 40 miles where there were numerous villages. Rock 
Lake, or Lake Mills is within 3 miles. Here there are many effi- 
gies, and burial mounds. The east shore of the lake is lined with 
artificial ridges and effigies, which were probably used as screens 
for hunters. The lake still abounds with duck and wild owl. An 
extensive forest, called the Jefferson woods, comes down to the 
shores of the Crawfish, immediately east of the ancient city. In 
this forest there are remains of ancient villages which belonged 
to the Indian tribes and various groups of effigies. This was the 
forest which Blackhawk sought to reach when he fled before 
General Atkinson. 

There is a mingled wildness and tamencss in the region. Sav- 
agery and civilization struggle together at the ancient city.§ The 
effigies seem ancient, but the walls seem modern. The platforms 
remind one of barbarism, but the outworks remind us of civilized 
people. There is a mystery about the place; it differs from all 
other village enclosures which belong to the emblematic Mound 

10. The scen2 resembles that which surrounds the works at 
Newark, O. An ampitheatre of hills surrounds the place, most of 
them at a distance of from i to 3 miles. The land is rolling, 
interspersed with valleys and hills which were formerly covered 
with a growth of massive oak trees. The stream runs through 
this valley furnishing an interesting feature to the landscape. 
As we visited the spot and stood on one of the mounds which 

*See the map of Ancient City. 

§"A number of riisty gunlocks in scattered fragments have been discovered near the surface of the 
ground, and pieces of iron, copper and brass have been found in the neighborhood." 

Several feet below the surface of the large square mound near the northwest corner of the enclosure, 
was found the remains of cloth enveloping a portion of the human skeleton. 

Remains of a skeleton found enclosed by a rude stone wall plastered with clay, and covered with 
a sort of inverted vase of the same material. 





surmount t\\2 hill above the vil'.a^^. a storm swept over the scene. 
The black thunder cloud above, the dark stream below, the hills 
covered with mingled lights and shades, the forests and fields, 
presenting a variety of colors, the distant horizon veiled with 
the falling showers, an occasional flash of lightning with the 
accompanying thunder, and yet the sun shining as if struggling 
with the shadows and the storm, it was a scene which im- 
pressed the mind as one of rare beauty; but below, near at hand, 
was the ancient city with its mysterious platforms, walls, and 
other remind:;rs of a people who have passed away.* 

There came a sense of awe as we looked about. It was easy to 
imagine that the place was once given to religious assemblies, and 
that the platforms or pyramids were covered with temples and 
smoked with sacrificial fires, and to realize that the place was 
very sacred to the people. 

[IV] Another village of the Emblematic Mound-Builders is 
situated at Green Lake on the east side of the lake, on land be- 
longing to Mr. Hill of the Lake Side House, Sec. 32. T. 16, R. 
13 k. This village is nearly obliterated, except that a few of the 
effigies are left. [See map of works at Green Lake.] The re- 
mains of a stockade wall are still faintly perceptible. It 
seems to have been a square enclosure with effigies placed near 
the corners to guard the gateways or openings in the stockade 
wall. One of the effigies seems to have formed a part of the 
east wall, or at least to have run parallel with the wall, (i.) The 
stockade on the west side has projections in it similar to the 
so-called bastions at Aztalan, though the embankment here is 
very faint and the bastions are very obscure. There are 
spurs in the embankment which run down to the bank of the lake 
making a graded way to the waters edge as if to a landing. 
There are four slightly elevated platforms in which pits (resem- 
bling those at Aztalan), cellars, as they are called, or lodges more 
properly, are still seen. (2.) The heads of the effigies at the north 
end seem to serve as guards to the entrance, but the tails serve 
as outworks, which protect the village and the row of lodges 
on that side. The body of the effigy at the south end with two 
long mounds, serve as outworks on that side. (3.) There are 
landings along the shore north of the village which .seem to be 
guarded by long mounds and effigies, g. The village is remarka- 
ble for having many effigies near it. On the hill above is a mas- 
sive wild goose which seems to be guarding the village. 6. A little 
farther away is a group of effigies, (7;) one of them a turtle just 
dragging his body up the bank of the creek. Still further 
on is a group containing two squirrels, a fox, an eagle, a 
swallow, a panther, (i i.) There are corn hills and a large ring 

*"Herc may h.-ive been the great annual feasts and sacrifices of a whole nation. The temple, lighted 
by fires kindled on the great pyramids, and at every projection on the walls, would have presented an 
imposing spectacle well calculated to impress the minds of the people with awe and solemnity." See 
Autiq. of Wis. p. 50. 




the remains of a council house near the effigies, and a dance 
ground and council house on the hill near the wild goose.(i3.) The 
tradition is that this was a favorite resort with the Indians. What 
is still more remarkable, there are effigies on all sides of the lake; 
the same animal being represented in them that seems to be 
guarding the \-illage. We should say that the squirrel was the 
totem of the clan which lived in this village. Squirrel effigies 
may be seen on all the high bluffs surrounding the lake ; A very 
large and beautiful one on the Sugar Loaf, Sec. 30, T. 16, R. 13. 
also several on the bluffs west of Norwegian Bay, Sec. 3O, T. 16, 
R. 12. The squirrel is represented in a very great number of 
attitudes; sometimes with its tail and head erect as if leaping; 
again, with its long tail curved up as if running, again, with 
its body bent, its head lifted up, and tail curled down as if standing 
and listening. The effigies on the west side have their heads 
very near the brow of the hills , their tails running out at 
a long distance over the bluff One has the great length of 600 
feet. At the extreme south end of the lake, there is the effigy of 
a deer in flight, its head erect, legs stretched out as if in rapid 
motion; Sec. 10, T. 15, R. 12 E. The effigy of a fox on the land 
adjoining that wliere the village is, is also very interesting. It is 
in the attitude which that animal usually assumes; it is very 
natural and life-like. The fox seems to be prowling about the 
circle and conveys the idea that the effigy was erected at the 
time that the council house was standing. The corn-hills are 
later, for they cover the effigies and have obliterated a part of the 

IV. We now turn to the question whether the villages of the 
Emblematic Mound-Builders were clan residences, ard we an- 
swer it as follows: I. The effigies guard the villages in such a 
way as to give the idea that they were clan emblems. 2. The 
same effigies, that is, effigies representing the same animals, are 
frequently found in connection with the game drives in the vicin- 
ity of the villages and convey the idea that the clan emblems of 
the hunters and the effigies of the animals hunted were placed near 
together in these game drives. 3. Certain effigies are very nu- 
merous and are often repeated in certain limited districts convey- 
ing the idea that the clans placed their totems on different parts 
of their territory to show that they were the possessors 4. The 
location of lone effigies on isolated and prominent points convey 
the idea that clan boundaries were marked by them. 5 . The gen- 
eral study of the prehistoric map has convinced us that the peo- 
ple were divided into clans; that they placed their emblems on diff- 
erent parts of their territory; that sometimes they placed the 
same emblems near their villages and sometimes on the hill tops 
to show the clan boundaries and placed them in groups in such 
a way as to make a clan record out of them. These conclusions 
are based upon actual observations and we proceed to illustrate 


the point by describing the locahties which we have visited. 

1 . We have frequently found effigies surrounding the enclosures 
and cfuardin": the entrances to them. We have found also that 
the effigies in the neighborhood were the same as those on the 
village site. In two cases the effigies were mingled so that it 
was difficult to tell which one. was designed for the village totem 
or the clan emblem. The wolf and the turtle are associated with 
eagles at Waukesha; three types. At Great Bend the panther, 
the turtle, and the prairie hen are associated; the village however, 
is guarded by a panther. We should say that the panther was 
the clan emblem here, and the same at Waukesha. At Green 
Lake, the squirrel is evidently the clan emblem. It is more 
numerous than all the other effigies put together and is more 
prominent in its situation. [See Figs. 135, 136, 137, 138, 139.] 

2. This combination of emblems on the same ground is anoth- 
er point. This makes the problem complicated. It is possible 
that the dream god was given with the clan emblem. 

There are places where animal effigies have this fetichistic 
character plainly discernible. The dream-god is portrayed in 
the effigies. Hunters would dream about the animals which 
they were to hunt. These were called game gods. They would 
also dream and would imagine that prey gods accompanied them. 
The buffalo, elk, and deer were game gods. The eagle, the fox, 
the wolf and the panther were prey gods. These different classes 
of animals were placed in effigy along with the clan emblem near 
the game drives. This we think has been proven by our obser- 
vation. At Bcloit there is a game drive where the buffalo is 
placed near the drive way. [See Fig. 1 18 and map in chapter VII. 
The turtle, which is the clan emblem of the region is placed on 
the hills above the game drive. At another place the panther, 
as a prey god. was erected near a deer drive and the turtle was 
used again for the lookout. Near Prairie du Chien the bear was 
discovered in one or two groups and the buffalo in another 
group, but both associated with the swallow, which is the clan 
emblem of that region. The position of the groups on the sum- 
mit of the hills and the arrangement of the long mounds show 
that these groups were game drives, but the universal prevalence 
of the swallow proved that that was the clan emblem. [See map.] 

3. The analogy can be carried out very easily in connection with 
the effigies. The writer at one time, accompanied a party 
from Washington, Dr. Cyrus Thomas among them, in an explor- 
ing trip among the mounds near Prairie du Chien. The route 
taken was along the dividing ridge which separates the Wiscon- 
sin from the Kickapoo River where were numerous groups which 
the writer took to be game drives. At the end of the day's drive 
the party came down into the bottom land of the Mississippi 
River and here discovered a series of large platform mounds 
which the writer believes marked the site of the village. 




The groups were as follows : 

1. A group of effigies consisting of a swallow and a long 
mound or ridge on Sec. 35, S. W. ^; T. 8, R. 6, five miles east 
from the town of Prairie du Chien, in the town of Eastman. 

2. A group of four swallows in a line, and one long mound, 
onSec.35,N. E. X,T.8, R6. 

3. Group on Sec. 36, N. 
W. ^i. T. 8, R. 6, has 3 swal- 
lows, 13 long mounds, 7 
round mounds, and a buffalo 

4. A single wolf effigy on 
Sec. 36, N. W. y^,T. 8,R. 6, 
near a spring and an old log 
tavern, where it is said that 
Jeff. Davis frequently stopped. 

5. A group consisting of 
two bear effigies, one swallow 
and a long mound on Sec. 24, T. 8, R. 6, 

6. A swallow and a long mound with round mounds strung 

upon it near to the village 
ofBatavia. Sec. 18, T. 8, R. 5. 

7. A bear effigy a mile west 
of Batavia on Sec. 13, T. 8, 
R. 6. 

All of these groups aie on 
the ridge which divides the 
valley of the Mississippi 
from the Kickapoo. They 
are placed at the head of the 
'^' ''*'■ long coolies or gullies which 

break down through the bluffs and drain the ridtre into the rivers 
on either side. The effigies are placed just where the animals 
would be likely to cross the 
ridge from one valley into the 
other, and the effigies show 
what kind of animals they were. 
In passing down from the 
ridges to the valley of the Mis- 
sissippi river, the party discov- 
ered a group consisting of two 
wolf effigies, two long mounds 
and several obscure effigies 
nearly obliterated. This was at Fig. 142. 

the mouth of Pickadee coolie, five miles north of Prairie du Chien. 
Passing still further down the river to the Dousman place, the party 
came to the group which was said by Dr. J. W. Phene to contain 
the effigy of a camel, but which has been surveyed and plotted by 

Longest didTTiefcr — 
T'>p of Dotk to fcollom of frrt — 

ricig/it o* boc'.y cf moiiiul- 

137/-. ft-. 

46 - 


^.arnteW diameter....- 101 ft 

Tola of Vo-ck feLDftoirio(-rf<t,---- *^^ " 

Hcl,7^■^ oj'fcoity 0,' moLir>-L 2- 



Mr. T. H. Lewis. The effigies were very obscure. They may 
have been intended to represent a buffalo and a wolf, but it would 
be absurd to call either of them a camel. See Figs. 140, 141, 142. 

Near the Courliss Bayou, the party came upon a group of large 
platform or conical mounds arranged at intervals making]a large 
circle around a level plat of ground containing about twenty 
acres. There were no effigies but the mounds were laree 
enough to be used as platforms, or a place of refuge in the time 
of high water. It was the impression of the party that these 
mark the site of the village; and that the mounds were built high 
and large so as to be places of refuge in time of flood. The so 
called village was near the water but in plain sight of the coolie 
on the Dousman place, and could be easily reached from both 
coolies. The distance from the village to the different game 
drives is from six to ten miles. If an effigy of the swallow had 
been found here, there would have been no difficulty in concluding 
that this was the village which the clan occupied. 

4. The discov^ery of the clan boundaries was the result of 
subsequent exploration. One such was found at a pomt of the 
bluffs three miles south of Prairie du Chien* The swallow was 
placed in a peculiar situation, on top of the bluff, overlooking a level 
plat of ground where were several effigies, buttoo'obscure to ident- 
ify with any partic- 
ular animal. There 
was a conical 
mound at the very 
point of the bluff 
which may have 
, been used as a look 
out station or a 
beacon. The swal- 
Fig. 143-SWALLOW ON A BLUFF AT PRAIRIE Du CHiEN. low was placcd be- 
tween the beacon mound and the bluff. In its shape it corres- 
ponded to the shape of the tongue of land and brought out the 
resemblance of the ridge to the swallow. Its wings, which were 
bent, stretched along the narrow knife-like edge of the bluff or 
ridge, making an elevated but crooked path across; the head 
and tail bending down the sides of the ridge. It is a very 
singular effigy, resembling an ornament embossed on a knife 
blade, its form being raised above the rocky ridge in distinct 
outlines. It would seem as if the intention was to make the 
effigy as striking as possible. No swallow was ^found on the 
bottom land. The effigy of a bear on land belonging to Post- 
master General Vilas, and of an elk near the old depot,'^were all 
of the effieies found on the bottom land. The swallow seems to 
have been placed on the bluffs overlooking the scene. 

On the Kickapoo river, five miles north of Wauzeka, a lone 


swallow* was found situated on a high, sightly bluff where a view 
could be had of all the region which had been traversed by the 
party a few days before. Though the game drives and effigies 
were not visible at this distance; yet the village of Batavia and 
the farm houses on the ridge were plainly to be seen. The route 
traversed to reach this lonely spot was by Avay of the Wisconsin 
and Kickapoo rivers over a very rough country; the distance was 
nearly thirty miles, though across from the bluff to the ridge was 
perhaps about five. The situation of this effigy on the height 
of ground overlooking the surrounding country, conveyed the 
idea that it was placed there to mark the boundary line of the clan. 
It >vas on the east side of the river, but no effigy like it was found 
farther east. A swallow effigy was, however, found four miles 
further north. f This was on the banks of the river in a lonely 
valley where was a single log hut in a little clearing. The place 
was surrounded by steep hills and was difficult of access. The 
swallow was on a plat of sandy ground around which the river 
made a bend. It would seem as if the effigy was placed here so 
as to show that the river was occupied by this clan. The impres- 
sion formed after visiting the different groups was that the whole 
region embraced within Crawford County, with its precipitous 
bluffs and coolies, with the prairie where the city of Prairie du 
Chien now stands, bounded by three rivers, the Kickapoo. Wis- 
consin, and the Mississippi belonged to the swallow clan. 

5. The clan record has not often been found in connection 
with village sites, but the fact that there are boundary lines be- 
yond which the emblems are not seen, would indicate that villages 
and clan residences were identical. This work of tracing out 
the emblem of the different clans has not yet been finished, yet 
there is a predominance to certain effigies in certain districts, 
which confirms the impression, tin Grant Co. the abode of a 
clan was found situated near the Mississippi river on the terrace 
just above high-water mark. The land surrounding it was fre- 
quently flooded but the particular spot Avas chosen because ot 
its height. No effigy was seen here. It is, however, only a mile 
or two north of the so-called elephant mound. The bottom land 
in this region is frequently broken by swails. The streams which 
flow down towards the river from the high bluffs adjoining 
have plowed these wide furrows through the sandy soil leavmg 
the beds lower than the common level. In these swails or dry 

*0n Sec. 6. N. E. l^, T. 7, R. 4, W., on l.-ind belonging to Wm. Coolie; length of body 59 ft . 
head 14 ft , wing, to first joint 25 ft., second joint 46 ft , spread from tip to tip 136 ft.; from angle of 
wing to head 29 ft. Mounds were discovered at the n'oiith of the Kickapoo river in village of 

tOn Sec. jy, T. 8, K, 4, W., Marietta Township. Land belonging to Wm. Posey. Length of the 
effig: body, 54 ft., head 27 ft., right wing 100 ft,, left wing 95 ft.; spread bctweeh the tip of she wing, 
160 ft. 

JOn the Bngley place, three miles south of Wyalusing. It consists of 15 round mounds similar to 
to those in the Courliss group. Antither group ot long mciuids with round mounds interspersed on 
Settlewich's place just south ot Bagley's place. Several long mounds with round mounds on 
Harris' place. 



beds are nume 

of long and ro 
sides of the s\v 
effigy of the e 



rous groups of mounds, some of them composed 
und mounds which run in rows parallel with the 
ails, and some of them composed of effigies. The 
lephant and the accompanying efhgy of a bird is 
in one of these low swails. These groups of effi- 
gies are all of them so much below the common 
level that they cannot be seen until one comes 
upon them. The impression conveyed is that 


The cuts here given have 
been used before, but are 
here combined and placed 
togetlier to show how exten- 
sive the hnes of the mounds 
in this region are and to 
show how predominant the 
JJuffalo effigy is above all 

The line of the effigies 
has been followed by the 
writer and the impression 
was gained that the animals 
which were sought fur as 
game \' ere represented 
in the effigies.' 
The runway for the animals 
was probably in the valley 
or gorge below but the effi- 
gies -svould furnish a plat- 
form rom which the game 
could be seen. It will be 
noticed that ^the effigies are 
placed at the head of every 
gorge or coolie. 

This is exactly as the effi, 
gies are located in Crawford 
County. They are placed 
where the deer, bear, and 
buffalo would cross the ridge 
or are at the end of ridges 
^^•here they would serve as 








Z'.is ?"D 4:0 50C Gfin 7:ii ai'3 a;: ig:.jfu2I. 

.;>"■ 1' 



they were game drives placed in these long swails or dry 
beds because they were the natural runways for wild game which 
came down from the bluffs to the river bank. Such was the 
probable object of the group where the mastodon was. The 
massive eagle stretched its wings nearly across from one side of 
the swail to the other, and would make an excellent screen for 
hunters. On the summit of the precipitous bluff above many 
effigies have been seen by the writer.* They are in long lines. 
They run from one end of the rocky spur to the other, making 
a quasi wall parallel with the river and crowning the face of the 
bluff Others run in long lines from the edge of the precipice 
back to the highlands. The whole region is cut up into gorges 
and narrow tortuous ridges. On the summit of these rocky 
heights, these rows of long mounds and effigies are frequently 
seen. Wherever a view can be gained of either the river, or the 
surrounding country, lookout mounds are placed. They seem to 
have been designed for roadways on which sentinels could run : 
and yet they were broken by openings or their object may have 
been for screens, behind which hunters could hide as they watch- 
ed the bear and other wild game climb up the precipice and down 
again to the valley of the river. Whatever their object was they 
form a complete net work which not only covers the bluffs and 
highlands but extends to the bottom lands and swails, and en- 
closes the land in its meshes. Some of the lines run three or 
four miles. There are interspersed between the long mounds, 
effigies of elk, bear, buffalo, and in one case a squirrel. 
These effigies are all of them in very striking attitudes; the elk 
with horns projecting as if in attitude of attack; the squirrel with 
body and tail curved as if running. Buffaloes also seemed to be 
standing on the edge of the bluffs looking down the deep coolies. 
An owl was stationed on a high point where a distant view could 
be gained. A coon was seen straddling a very narrow pass on 
the top of a rocky precipice, its body and tail forming a pathway 
and its legs hanging down on cither side resting against the edge 
of the precipice.f The buffalo effigy could be traced here to be 
the clan emblem, and its totcmic character was every where 
prevalent. Wherever the clan lived the people managed to stamp 
the impress of their occupancy upon the hills and valleys, and 
one could not help thinking that the effigies were many of them 
totems or clan emblems. 

*Group on bluff overlooking Wyalusing, on Kendall's place. S. E. % Sec. 31, consisting of 
squirrel and 4 lung mounds. A line runs back from this consisting of 9 long mounds, and ends in a 
group consisting of buffalo, wildcat and the owl. 

tOn Derby's place.— A line nearly a mile long runs from Derby's place to Glenn's place, N. E K 
of Sec 30,1" 6, K 6, W.: consisting of long mounds, and two buffalo effigies. Another line described 
by Moses m'. Strong on the Jiayfield phce: 'J'his is nearly a mile long; it consists of an elk efhgy, 
2 bears, and long mounds. A group overlooking Bridgeport in one direction and Prairie du Chien in 
the other has been discoveied by the writer on Coss' place. The long mounds run froin the edge 
of the bluff overlooking the Wisconsin, back 1,000 ft. and end with a turtle efhgy, which probably 
served as an outlook. 




In drawing to a conclusion the articles upon the Emblematic 
Mounds, we propose to consider the question who were the Effi- 
gy Builders ? This is not an easy question to answer, and we da- 
not expect to answer it in any positive or indisputable manner, 
but merely propose to give suggestions, and leave our readers to 
draw their own inferences. It is not likely that, in the absence 
of all tradition or reliable knowledge on the part of the Indian 
tribes who have dwelt here since the advent of the white man 
that any one will arrive at the conclusion of this matter. Opin- 
ions will differ even if we give all the evidence that is possible for 
from the same data, different persons will draw different conclu- 
sions and there is no positive proof possible. We go over the 
ground laying down certain foundations and then leave others to 
build on them as they may. We now take the position that the 
effigy builders were different from most of the tribes which were 
located here after the time of the discovery; that they did not 
belong to the Algonquin race. We do not know whether they 
were a people related to the Dakotas or Sioux, though it some- 
times seems as if they were. It is a singular fact that nearly all 
the Algonquins found in the state of Wisconsin belong to tribes 
which migrated into the state after the discovery by Columbus, 
and their migrations have been traced by different writers. 

The Dakotas are supposed also to have been recent immigrants 
for they have traditions among them of their migrations from the 
far East, and some think that they were formerly located on the 
Ohio River and built the mounds there, and were driven out by 
the Iroquois. There are, to be sure, a few among the Algonquin 
Indians who maintain that their ancestors built the effigies. The 
writer has had conversation with the son of the old Indian chief 
Oshkosh and put this inquiry to him. He said that the Mcnom- 
onees built the mounds as tribal records and to mark places where 
they had had battles. On saying that the effigies were not on the 
Menomonce Territory he answered they are all over and all the 
tribes built them. This is the nearest to a tradition about the effi- 
gies that we have been able to get ; and this probably had refer- 
ence to the common tumuli rather than to the effigies. There 
is a blank page on which we can find neither history nor 


tradition. The only record is written in the hieroglyphics 
and symbols. The effigies themselves furnish the only clue. If 
the land was occupied before these tribes came it will be only 
ascertained from the study of archa.'ology. But archaeology at 
present gives no definite information in reference to it. Our study 
of the subject will be mainly confined to the testimony given by 
the mounds themselves. 

L The succession of races. One of the first things which we 
learn from the history and earth works is that there has been a 
succession of races on this soil. We should know this from his- 
tory but archaeology confirms it. The study of the mounds proves 
that there has been a succession. Whether a succession of tribes 
or races who built effigies, is uncertain, but that there was a suc- 
cession of tribes who built mounds and other earth works, will, 
we think, be easily proven. Dr. Lapham maintained that there 
were four different periods of occupation, as follows: 

1. The later Indians, those who were encamped at various 
points after the settlements began. 

2. The earlier Indians who made graves and built the cornhills 
which are so common in the state, 

3. The people who made the garden beds. 

4. The effigy builders. 

We maintain that the conical mounds give evidence of a suc- 
cession of races. There is a difference between the tumuli, some 
of them having been built by later Indians, some of them by 
■earlier tribes and probably some of them by the effigy builders 
themselves. The tumuli were frequently used by successive 
tribes, the same mound containing the skeletons of two or three 
different tribes which were deposited at different times. There 
is quite a difference between the tumuli in their external appear- 
ance; some of them are very massive, about 50 feet in diameter 
• and 10 or 12 feet in height, others are much smaller, varying 
from 15 to 30 feet in diameter and 5 and 8 feet in height. We 
propose to give a description of various localities where tumuli 
have been examined and where the evidences of different periods 
of occupation are given by them. 

I. The first place to which we shall refer is at Prairie du Chien. 
Here there is a great variety of earth works. In the first place 
the Old French Fort is in the shape of an earth wall and has 
been mistaken by some for a work of the effigy builders. 
It was a stockade and the wall does resemble some of the 
long mounds which were left by the effigy builders. The pres- 
ence of chimneys and a well and other modern tokens would 
prove it to have been built by the white settlers. The employees 
of the Bureau of Ethnology have, at different periods, excavated 
mounds. In one, little hawk bells were found and other tokens 
•of contact with the Whites. These hawk bells were probably 
introduced by the French. The mound was near the site 





■~;^;:^:;r^^, .«■ PR.MRIE DU CH.EX. 



of old Fort Crawford and was evidently erected by modern 
Indians. There are many large mounds on the prairie both north 
and south of the city. The most of them have been dug into, 
and relics have been taken out from many of them. These relics 
are such as are peculiar to the Mound Builders but the Indians 
have long since ceased to possess. The writer has seen some 
very beautiful specimens of spear heads, scalping knives, and other 
implements which were taken from mounds three miles south of 
Prairie du Chien. Mr. Beach, of Prairie du Chien,and Mr. Derby, 
of Wyalusing, have in their collections a number of these relics. 
Others may be seen in the Davenport Academy having been 
placed there by Capt, Hall. Here then we have the tokens of at 
least three periods of occupation; a. those connected with Ft. Craw- 
ford; b. those erected by the Indians who gathered about the 
Old French Fort; and c. those which were erected by an earlier 
tribe of Mound Builders. Beside these there are effigies and 
round mounds which were evidently erected by a still earlier race. 
The effigies and round mounds connected with them have not 
been excavated, the object having been with all to collect relics 
and not to gather information about the effigy builders. The lo- 
cation of the Fort and the mounds connected with the Fort will 
be seen from the cut which has been furnished by the Historical 
Society of Wisconsin. [See Diag. IX.] The mounds yielding the 
most interesting relics are not upon the map. There are, how- 
ever, tumuli on the island near Mr. Dousman's place. The map 
illustrates the fact that different periods of occupation may be 
traced by ruins, earth works, debris, as well as by mounds for we 
have on it the tokens of three separate white races, namely the 
Old French Fort, the Fort occupied by the English in 1814, and 
Fort Crawford which was built by the Americans in 1829. 

2. Another place where tumuli have been excavated is the one 
mentioned by Mr. Moses Strong. [See Fig. 144.] One group 
visited by Mr. Strong w'as situated on the bottom lands of the 
Mississippi River. It contained evidences of intrusive burials. 
He thought that the mounds might have been built by recent In- 
dians. The other group was near the Wisconsin River. It con- 
tained round mounds and effigies. The effigies were excavated 
but yielded no relics. The round mound contained what he 
thought was the skeleton of a Mound Builder.* 

3. Another place where mounds furnish evidence of different 
periods of occupation is at Madison. There is a group of effigies, 
long mounds, and round mounds, on the north shore of Lake 
Mendota. The group extends the whole distance from land east 
of the Asylum, across the Asylum grounds, and across the farm 
west of the asylum; and is compos ed of a great variety of effigies. 

*^It occurred to me that the circular mound might have been stamped or rammed, perhaps for the 
purpose of protecting the corpse against the attack of prowling animals. I do not think that the most 
skeptical person could regard this as an intrusive burial. The mound precisely resembles all others 
in this vicinity and in other diflferent localities which we are accustomed to attribute to the Mound 
Builders." Sm, Rep. 1876— p. 428, 



. irn 







Fifj, 144, 

This cut, Fig. 144, is taken from the Smithsonian 
report for 18S6. Mr, Moses Strong says of thegroup 
" It is situated on a low sandy ridge h few feet high- 
er than the adjoining grounds which are not far above 
high water mark. The mounds are built in straight 
lines of three or four mounds each, the lines making 
angles with each other to conform to the higher fea"^ 
tures of the ground." They differ from the mounds 
in the swails which are generally long and round 
mounds and much more regular in their arrangement. 



On a high hill overlooking the lake is a cluster of conical tumuli 
around which effigies may still be seen. These tumuli have been 
excavated and have yielded relics. One of them has been de- 
scribed by the author and is shown to have been a sacrificial 
place as it contained a large altar at the base. Another is referred 
to here as it was found to contain two burials, one above the other, 
and so shovv's that there were two periods of occupation. We 
furnish a cut which was prepared for Dr. J. N. De Hart, and quote 
from his description. [See Fig. 146.] It will be noticed that the 
skeletons are all in the sitting posture. The same posture as de- 
scribed by Moses Strong as seen in the mound in Grant County. 
The lower skeletons were evidently the original Mound Builders. 
The upper skeleton may have been that of a later Indian. 

The following is the order of the burials: 

ist. A deposit of ashes, charcoal and decayed wood, 2 feet be- 
low the surface; skeleton of an adult, 3 feet below the surface, 
covered with loam very compact and hard. 


2nd. A layer of earth and a course of stones, ashes, charcoal, 
decayed wood, crust of clay baked, and a cavity 6 feet long, 2 feet 
wide, but no skeleton in it; near the center of the tumulus the 
skeleton of a child, pieces of ancient pottery, and a stone hammer. 

3rd. Near the bottom of the tumulus an adult Mound Builder 
in a sitting posture, and below this, stones which had been ex- 
posed to fire, ashes, charcoal, decayed wood, and a flat discoidal 


Dr. De Hart found in the companion burial mound spoken of 
above, a stone pestle. The altar was 1% feet below the surface 
of the ground," the pestle was 2;/ feet from the summit of the 
mound. [See Fig. 145.] 

4th. Another place where tumuli have been excavated is at Lake 



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4. Another place wheretumuli have been excavated is at Lake 
Koshkonong on the south west side between Taylor's Point and 
the villa^i^e of Newville. Here there are three groups of tumuli 
about a mile apart. They were excavated by Mr. W. P. Clark 
in 1874."^^ 

The following is the record given by Mr." Clark: 
1st. A mound at the foot of Koshkonong Lake, 13 feet high, 
and 75 feet in diameter. [See Fig. 147.] At the depth of 12 feet 

a deposit of ashes- below the 
ashes a flat stone weighing 
150 lbs.; below the stone, 
fragments of decayed wood, 
two skeletons, the bones in- 
termingled with ashes. We 
have examined this mound 
and found near it an effigy, 

JT;; -g— =^=^^^gSS^- Scalt. Hie inch 


A- C^iajt iun.K At ccnftr of m-unil 
a-S^tleron flshcsmincleu' iwtMhf bones. 
b-La'((r o(l)arh "C- BuLulder 

d Ccposit of tishts thicKnf.5i. 

and think it was the place 
where the effigy builders 

2nd. A mile south of this 
Fig. 147- is a group of large flat mounds 

situated on a hill top. Mr. W. P. Clark found in one of these 
mounds a cavity containing a skeleton. He thinks that they were 
erected by Indians. There are near them in the low land near 
the water shell heaps 

GrciiSicHar) of f-lomd 'A' 

osKUnono LaK«> 

U- l^lt cf b;*Kni ctau containing 

Scak- izft ta-Uit 

Z sKc'.Tvns. 


and fire beds marking 
the places, where the' 
Indians had camped. 
[See Fig. 148.] 

3rd. The third 
group is also situated 
on a ridge but near- 
er the water. The 
mounds are not so large horizontally but are higher. Some 
of them have been excavated. In one of them was found a cop- 
per knife, in another several skeletons. 

4th. Several conical tumuli were excavated by Air. W. P. Clark 
near Indian Ford. This is the place where there is a game drive. 

One of them contains 
two burials an upper 
and a lower. The 
earth composing it 
was very compact. 
The upper burial con- 
sisted of three skele- 
tons in a recumbent 
posture ; the lower 

♦See Amer. Antiq.^Vol. VI — No. 5 p. 

O.-Ul-ptr a.ljj.t 4 l^....( 
O-Lovuar . . * 

d .Graiicl!; soil of kill. 



burial consisted of 7 skeletons; the bones were thrown together as 
if it were a bone burial. One of the skeletons contained a stone 
arrow-head imbedded between the two lower lumbar vertebrae. 
A perforated stone_ amulet was found with the skeletons. This 
mound mr.y ha\'e been erected by the effigy builders, or at least 
the lowe;' burial was probably by them. [See Fig. 149.] 

5. Anotherplace where mounds have been excavated is at Be- 
loit. Here there are effigies and round mounds, the common 
effig}- being the turtle. The mounds on the college campus are 
common tumuli. One of them was excavated a number of years 
ago and yielded bones but no record was made of it. There is 
a group of effigies and round mounds near tlij waterworks a mile 
north of the college campus.''' 

Two of the effigies have been excavated and a record made. 
One by Col. C. Heg in 1H70, the other by the writer in 1886. The 
record of the first was made b\' Prof, S. Eaton . . 

The report of the last has been furnished by the author to the 
r^thnolofiical Bureau. Effij^v mounds do not o!ten contain buri- 
als and we therefore make especial mention of these. 

A description of these effigies will therefore be gi\-en. a. I'he 
group is one out of many which are found in diffjrent directions 
from the cit>'. All of them contain the effigy of the turtle. 
The clan emblem was the turtle, d. The .situation of the group was 
such as to lead one to expect it to be a burial place It was on 
the bluff o\-erlooking the river, not fu- distant about a mile from 
the group on the college campus, c. riie arrangement of thtj 
mounds in the group would indicate that it was not a game drive 
or a \'illage; possibly the village was upon the college campus. 
d. The burial was upon the surface of the ground. ICight bodies 
were laid in a line along the central a.xis of the effigy but were 
diagonal to the line. c. The bodies were buried with the ground 
very compact but with no evidences of cremation, f. The skele- 
tons were arranged as if the burial had been a bone burial; the 
lower bones of the legs and arms were placed along side of the 
upper bones, and the skull was placed upon the thorax, g'. The 
moimd was not stratified but was made up mainly of black loam. 
/i. There were no implements of any kind. The bones were much 
decomposed, showiing that the bodies had been buried a long time. 
We take the ground that the effigy builders used the semblances 
of animals as their totems just as the later tribes use painted and 
carved wood over the graves of their dead, and in this consists 
the difference between the earlier and the later races. 

6. Another place where mounds have been excavated is at Rock 
Eake and at Aztalan. The mounds at Rock Lake on the 
west side near Lake Mills, were small conical tumuli about 
two feet high, 12 and 15 feet in diameter. There are about 100 
of them. Skeletons have been taken from them and forwarded 

*See map of works at Beloit; ihey are here called Dugway Mounds. 


to the Medical Museum of the U. S. Army. These were evidently 
the skeletons of Indians quite recently buried. The skulls were 
mainly those of squaws. There are effigies and conical mounds 
on the east side of Rock Lake but they have jiot been excavated. 
The mounds and walls at Aztalan, 3 miles east, are evidently 
ancient. Skeletons have been taken out from these mounds. 

Dr. Lapham excavated mounds at Aztalan; he found the evi- 
dences of several periods of occupation. He says, "rusty gun 
locks and pieces cf iron, copper, and brass have been found in the 
neighborhood. I excavated one of the tumuli outside of the en- 
closure and found that a post had been inserted in the mound. 
This post may have been the remains of a medicine pole. Accord- 
ing to Mr. Catlin, the Mandans were in the habit of erecting 
mounds of earth near their villages, around which were arranged 
in circles the skulls of the dead, after their bodies had decayed 
on the scaffolds. On each mound was erected a pole hung with 
articles of mysterious and superstitious import." [See Diag. VII.] 

7. Mounds have been excavated near Rush Lake and near 
Green Lake. The first by a company of students from Ripon 
College. The second by Mr. Thomas Armstrong. One of those ex- 
cavated by the students contained bones thrown in indiscriminately, 
another, a pit wherein bones had been thi'own; and another a 
pillar or pile of large stones or boulders. There were no effigies 
in this group. The mounds described by Mr. Armstrong were 
effigies, and belong to the group which we have described as a 
village site. 

Here then, are two races who buried in mounds. In the same 
vicinity at Green Lake there are corn hills and a ring where was 
a dance ground belonging to modern Indians. [See Diag. VIII.] 
On the opposite side of the lake on Sec. 27 there are conical 
mounds. This is still a favorite place of resort with the Indians. 

Mr. Thomas Armstrong has described the skulls which were 
exhumed from the group at Rush Lake, among which there 
were no effigies; evidently a group erected by a later race than 
the t^gy builders. He says, "the skeletons were in a good state 
of preservation and the skulls were more like those of the com- 
mon Indians; very narrow across the eyes. The forehead slopes 
rapidly up, the great bulk of the head and by far the highest part 
was back of the coronal suture." "The general characteristic 
of the skull was the low and narrow forehead." Here then we 
have two types of skulls and two races which built mounds, 
the one the effigy builder, and the other a later people. Other 
persons have noticed the difference. Some have even undertaken 
to show that the effigy builders were much lower in their organi- 
zation. The effigy mound excavated by Mr. Thomas Arm- 
strong was near Green Lake. A skeleton was found near the neck 
of the effigy but the bones were nearly decomposed. 

Mr. Mitchell, of Green Lake, has excavated many mounds 




in that viciiiit}'. He 

has found specimens 

of pottery which show 

very delicate and 

complicated patterns. 

These may hav^e been 

the work of eiWgy 

builders. He has a 

large number of very 

rude stone relics pick- 
ed up on the north 

shores of Lake Pucka- 
way. These resemble 

the argillaceo 

of the gravel 

Trenton. It 

known whe 

were left by 

gy builders or by the 

modern Indians, but 

they are interesting 

as showing what a va- 
riety of 
found on 

8. "At Fort Atkin- ' 
sonlargeburial tumuli Ziyo ^ 
have been opened; one ^M:f-^<^"<': ^<s iP-^ 

lo feet high, and 60 C?t<feM^^I -•-^"^•^^. 
feet m diameter. The 
graves of Indiins were 
found in penetrating 
this mound." This is 
the place where an in- 
taglio mound, a look- 
out or conical mound 
accompanying it, a 
bear effigy and several 
other animal mounds 
were discovered by 
Dr. Lapham. [See 
Fig. 150.] The group 
is connected with the 
large mounds referred 
to above. This group 
consisting of 
conical mound. 1 



relics aie 
the same 




'<«<.' ^.Nt 



mounds, intaglio or excavated Q^^gy bird mounds, and bear 


effigy, may have been designed as a game drive or a place for 
hunters. It was, however, in the midst of a corn field and in 
this respect resembles a group of effigies at Indian Prairie north 
of Milwaukee. It furnishes another case where effigies and corn 
hills arc associated. 

Dr. Lapham speaks of these mounds as follows:* 

"It will be remarked that, in opening mounds and penetrating 
to the original deposits, but few implements or ornaments of any 
kind are found. In this respect, the Wisconsin mound builders 
differed from their successors who are in the habit of burying 
articles of supposed value and utility with their dead; and from 
this fact it may perhaps be inferred that they had less material 
notions of the spirit world, or at least of the necessities of those 
who were on the journey to that happy land." 

9. Waukesha is another place. Here Dr. Lapham found relics 
in a tumulus. We have already quoted his remarks. t He says: 

" Here the stone cist was 2 feet below the original surface and 
the mound was erected over it. It is evident that it was not an 
original burial but a tumulus of a later race of mound builders. 

The effigy builders are not known to have placed their dead 
in cists but generally packed, the ground about them, and made 
their bone burials in pits or upon the surface of the ground. 
The pipes, red paint, and pottery in this cist siiow that it was a 
late race that built the mound and not the effigy builders. The 
bones were much* decayed, "but it is believed," Dr. Lapham 
says, "that their antiquity could not be very great." 

We furnish a cut of the turtle mound at Waukesha, described 
by Dr. Lapham. The shape of the elfigy will be noticed, and 
the burial place of the later Indians will be recognized. The dif- 
ference between the two races will be readily seen from this cut 
The Indians marked the graves in the rudest manner by placing 
sticks over them, but the effigy builders marked their abode by 
erecting elaborate clan eniblems in the hhape of effigies. See 

10. A series of conical mounds formerly existed near Berlin, on 
the north side of the Fox River. A body was found in one of these; 
the body of a child. Near it was a pottery vessel about 6 inches 
in diameter; and in the mouth of the vessel was another smaller 
pottery bowl in which it was said sweet meats had been placed. 
This was evidently an Indian burial. 

Rev. Stephen Bowers excavated a number of conical mounds 
near Baraboo in 1880 and found what he thought gave evidence 
of cremation. These conical tumuli were near a group of efflgies 
and may have been the burial place of effigy builders. 

11. At New London, on the Wolf River, there are graves which 
are known to have been built by the modern Indians; also corn 

*See Laph.Tm's Antiq. of Wis., p. 36. 
'.tSee Ninth Paper, Amer. Antiq. Vol. IX, No. i, p. 16. 



hills over which a young forest has grown; a series of burial 
and long mounds formerly existed here; three classes in all. 
Many relics have also been found. Old gun barrels among the 
corn hills; skeletons from the mounds, pockets containing copper 
knives in the rocks on the side of Mosquito Hill and in the lime 
stone ridge adjoining. 

12. At Montello, during the year 1886, a party consisting of 
Mr. McDonald and E!ben Fox exhumed four skeletons from 
mounds on the banks of Buffalo Lake, one of the skulls had been 
penetrated by the point of an arrow which remained extending 


Ihfiladian Vjirave*. 

/r^f^-"' .. ■ i*i''i**'6*..-..v.-"j*.T.;"-.->: 


half an inch on the inside and remained imbedded in the bone.* 
The skeletons were well preserved, though the skull in some re- 
spects resembled those taken out of the mound by Mr. Clark at 

There are a few other places where effigies have been 
explored, but the same results were reached. At La Crosse, 
Mr. F. W. Putnam excavated an effigy mound. He says that 
"the mound had been reduced by long continued trampling 
of beasts and men, and it may have been dug into in the 

*See Amer, Antiq., Vol., VIII., No, 5, p. 29a, 


past as only a portion of the bones of the skeleton were 
found. "t He however refers to the group of effigies at Bara- 
boo, and speaks of the conical mounds which had been ex- 
cavated there, and concludes that many of the groups were 
designed for burial places. He compares the effigies to the 
"Pumas" cut from stone mentioned by Bandelier as found on a 
hill in New Mexico which are connected with the ceremonies of 
the Pueblo Indians, and to the animal and human forms cut in 
stone found in poitions of Mexico. "The transition is easy from 
these to the combination of similar forms with the architectural 
ornaments of the large buildings of Yucatan, where pumas, ser- 
pents, birds, and human forms abound. The study of the effigy 
mounds of Wisconsin in connection with their descent from a 
higher type will prove interesting especially to those inclined to 
the theory of the south-western origin of the mound-building 
nation:" In reference to this we would say that the burials 
do not indicate difference enough between the effigy builders 
and the later Indians, to warrant any such conclusion. The 
theory was advanced at an early day that the Aztecs went from 
this region to Mexico, but this has been rejected. All that we 
can say is, that the effigy builders were very much like the later 
Indians, but built the effigies for their clan emblems, and as 
a general thing buried their dead without relics. 

We have dwelt upon the subject of burials for the reason that 
they not only show a succession of races but prove that the 
&^gy builders were the earliest of all. 

The burials were not uniform; some of them were in a sitting 
posture, some of them recumbent, and some were bone burials. 
The modern or later tribes of mound builders seem to have 
practiced single burials with the body in a sitting posture, but 
the earlier tribes buried a number of bodies together, and mainly 
in a recumbent posture. The effigy builders seem to have 
practiced bone burial occasionally, but were not confined to it. 
Where they buried in an effigy, or with an effigy over the place, 
we may suppose they made the effigy to correspond with the 
clan emblem of the region. These are the conclusions we have 
drawn from such facts as have come to hand. A succession of 
races has followed one another here, but only one of them built 

II. We come next to the subject of the differences in the races 
or tribes. The question is, were the effigy builders in any way 
different from the people who succeeded them. This is not to 
be confounded with another question which has been broached 
by Dr. Cyrus Thomas: "Were the mound builders Indians?" In 
the succession of races all may have been Indians, but the difference 
in the Indians is the point of inquiry. The answer to the question 

tSee Proceedings Amer, Antiq. Soc, Oct. 22, 1883, Vol. IH., Parti, p. 4. 



will be found mainly in the study of the relics and remains, and 
especially of the skeletons and skulls. 

We turn then to the study of the relics with a view of ascer- 
taining who the effigy builders were. It should be said, however, 
that there are few implements which can be identified as having 
belonged to the effigy builders, as relics are not often found in the 
effigies. Dr. Lapham explains this by saying that they had 
very different ideas of the nature of the soul from the later Indians, 
but our explanation is that the effigy builders practiced 
bone burial. If they did it is not likely that they would 
deposit implements in the grave with their dead. They first 
placed the bodies upon platforms or in houses and afterwards 
buried the bones with great ceremony. There are relics, however, 
which can be identified as belonging to this people, and to these 
we call attention. 

I. The skulls and skeletons of the effigy builders are worthy 
of notice. Descriptions have often been given. We call atten- 
tion to two which are 
exceedingly suggestive, 
namely, the skull found 
by Mr. W. P. Clark at 
Indiaii Ford, and the 
one exhumed by Dr. y. 
P. Koy at Racine. We 
give a figure of the first. 
[See Fig. 152.] The fig- 
ure of the second can 
be found in Dr. Lap- 
ham's book.* (7. It 
s a noticeable fact that 
both of these ; skulls 
Fig. 152.— SKULL or AN EFFrov BUILDER. Came from mounds 
which had evidently been erected by the [effigy builders, and 
from the lowest depth in the mound. There were, to be sure, 
in both cases, conical mounds which belonged to the later 
races, but the impression formed by the gentlemen who dis- 
covered these skulls, was that they were digging into an original 
mound builder's grave, and that they had come upon a genuine 
mound builder. Dr. Hoy's description is as followsif 
"The works situated on the bluff consists of 3 lizards, i cblong, 
6 conical tumuli and 3 enclosures. I opened one of the lizards 
but found nothing. We excavated 14 o the mounds, most of 
them contained more than one skeleton, and in one instance we 
found seven. The primitive crania were crushed and flattened. 
In two instances I succeeded in restoring the fragments to 
their original shape; one of them is represented. 

*See Antiquities of Wis., PI. LIH. 
+See Antiquities of Wis., p. lo. 



In regard to the works at Racine we should say that there were 
two races who had buried here, one making their burial place 
where the cemetery is at present; the other on the isolated bluff 
north and cast of the river. Dr. Hoy took the skull from the 
group in the latter place and we should judge from this circum- 
stance that it was the skull of an effigy builder, effigies being com- 
mon in the group. See Fig. 153. 

*\nc;:rfrf ^Dsni'S 

'\ . i.i.^i.!,..... n.g rHH.1^ 


F'g. 153. 

He says "On the mound from which I obtained the pottery, there 
was a burr oak stump which contained 250 rings, and the tree was 
cut ten years since, when the land was first occupied. Near this I 
'excavated another mound on the center of which were the remains 
of a large stump which must h-ive been much older. Immediately 
under the center of this stump I obtained the cranium before men- 
tioned. A stunip on the long mound has 310 rings ; and near by 
are the remains of a 1 irge tree, and an oak stump five feet in di- 
ameter. These facts indicate an antiquity of at least a thousand 


/'. In comparin<:^ the two skulls, the one exhumed from the 
mound at Indian Ford, with the one at Racine, the impression is 
gained that thc\- both belon<j to the same race and were both the 
mound builder type. This is the impression formed by Mr. Clark. 
lie has given the dimensions and measurements of the skull as 
compared with that of a probable Indian of a later tribe. The 
ficial anc^le of this is 75° and the other 85°. The length of the 
occipito-frontal arch is 14 inches and the other 15.30 in. Both 
skulls are very remarkable in their appearance. This descrip- 
tion ofthe skull and its surroundings is instructive, c. Dr. Hoy 
makes a good point in reference to the mounds in the cemetery. 
He says, "the mounds with unusually steep sides are of recent 
orirrin, time not iiaving leveled them down as much as those of 
greater antiquity." The same is true of mounds which were exca- 
vated at Lake Koshkonong. Those which were used for modern 
relic burials have ver\' steep sides; and those which have been taken 
to belong to the originalmound builders are much flatter, d. An- 
other point is also worthy of notice. As a general thing the skel- 
etons and skulls are much older in their appearance when found in 
the effitriesthan when found in the small conical mounds. Such the case here. c. Dr. J. W. De Hart makes a point in connec- 
tion with theskeletons which he exhumed at Madison. He says 
that they presented two features peculiar to a low order of people; 
the perforation ofthe humerusand the flattening ofthe shin bones; 
peculiarities which belong to the animals such as the anthropoid 
apes. His conclusion, however, we do not accept. The perfo- 
ration of the humerus may be found to exist in the chimpanzee 
and ape, but it does not prove that the mound builders were of a 
low grade. The platxcnemic feature is found among all the 
hunting races. All that can be proven from this fact is that 
the effigy builders were hunters. On this point we should disa- 
gree with Dr. De Hart and say that though the races are different, 
yet there is no evidence of inferiority in the effigy builders. 

2. We turn next to the relics and remains found in mounds 
as compared with effigies. We have maintained that the round 
mounds were erected by a later race and we are to examine the 
relics to prove this. One proof is that these contain relics 
but the effigies do not. Another is that the skeletons and skulls 
are much better preserved. Still another is that in these mounds 
occasionally modern implements are found. We have already gone 
over the diffeient localities wh<"re such mounds have been exca- 
vated and where relics have been discovered. 

The typical relic or implement of Wisconsin is the stone axe 
with a long blade and a deep groove. There are many such 
axes found in the state, some of them showing signs of long use. 
The banner stones and maces, and mound builder's pipes may be 
typical in Ohio, but these are typical relics in Wisconsin. [See 
Figs. 154 and 155. 



In reference to all the relics, it may be said that there are many 
evidences of aboriginal trade. Nests of leaf-shaped implements 
from the Falls of the Ohio and from Flint Ridge near Newark, 
have been found in the state. Obsidian cores Or blocks which 
probably had been brought from the Rocky Mountains, have 
been exhumed from the mounds. Pieces of mica from the mines 


in South Carolina and sea-shells from the Gulf of Mexico have 
also been seen. Some of these may have belonged to the effigy 
builders, though they are, as we have said, very seldom found 
in the effigies. 

3. We next take up the copper relics of Wisconsin and examine 
them with the view of ascertaining whether they were the pro- 
ducts of the effigy builders or were left by the later races. This 
is an important point, for it helps to determine the social status 
of the eifigy builders. These two have generally been associated. 
The effigies and copper relics are the distinguishing peculiarities 
of the State, but the question is whetherthey are to be associated. 

The arcliceology of Wisconsin differs from that in other states, 
in that the copper implements are so abundant. It is probable 
that no State in the Union has yielded more copper tools than 
this. Tiicre are large collections in the cabinets of the Historical 
Society at Madison and of the Academy of Science at Milwaukee. 
These collections have been mainly made by Mr. F. S. Perkins. 
He claims that he has never found a copper relic in an effigy 
mound, though many have been found in the immediate neighbor- 



hood. A large majority have been plowed up in the tield, some 
of them from a yery considerable depth. They are made, he 
thinks, from the copper nuggets which ara found in the drift and 
from the copper taken out from the mines in Lake Superior. 
The relics sold by Mr. Perkins do not determine the point. 

The connection between the copper relics and the effigies 
seems to be quite uncertain. We have learned of one copper knife 
having been taken out of a mound at Koshkonong. The mound, 
however, was one of a group which we have considered modern. 
All in the group are conical tumuli with steep sides and contain 
recent burials. A mound at Prairie du Chien was excav^ated by 
Messrs. Hall & Derby, and yielded obsidian cores, an oil stone 
scalping knife, a very beautiful spear-head, and several large 
copper beads, or rather wooden beads covered with copper. 

The exploring party under the Bureau of P^thnology, excavated 
a group two miles south of the city of Prairie du Chien, 
called the Flucke group; the group previously excavated by Hall 
& Derby. In this group, obsidian spear heads, copper beads, t\?o 
spool-shaped copper ornaments, a copper bracelet, and a close 
coiled wire were found, the wire and bracelet supposed to be an 
intrusive burial. The Vilas group, which we have before de- 
scribed as belonging to the effigy builders, was also excavated 
but no relics were discovered. The writer says: "the bodies had 
been removed for a general burial at some other place." 

These relics we liave spoken of as being older than many 
others, but as probably not belonging to the effigy builders. Thi.s 
uncertaintN' in reference to the copper relics having belonged to 
the effigy builders is increased by the fact that copper relics have 
been found in cliffs many miles distant from any groups of 
effigies. The line which bounds the habitat of the effigy builders. 
is found somewhere in the neighborhood of the Fox River. Nearly 
all the mounds north of this river are conical tumuli and not effigies. 
Copper relics have been found near New London 40 miles south 
of this river, ami near Embarass 30 miles still farther north. These 
finds are interesting for they show that the later Indians were in 
the habit of using and hiding copper implements. Tlie find at 
New London was that of a nest of copper tools hidden away in a 
ledge of rocks. The rocks were of lime stone and there were 
crevices in the ledge which formed pockets; the nest was in one 
of these pockets. The find at P'mbarass was different. Here the 
nest was deposited in the sand in the midst of some pine barrens. 
The nest consisted of three knives which seem to have been used 
and which have quite a modern appearance to them. The find 
was made by Mr. A. Willmarth, of luiibarass, and the relics are 
still in his possession. 

4. As to the connection of the effigy builders with the ancient 
mines, there is the same uncertainty. There are no effigies on 
the bank of Lake Superior. The nearest effigy is at Wausau on 


the Wisconsin River or Trempeleau on the Mississippi River, a 
distance from the south shore of Lake Superior of at least 60 
miles. It v'ould seem from this circumstance that the region 
about Lake Superior had been from time immemorial occupied 
in about the same way as since the historic period. The Ottawas 
and the Chippewas are known to have held this region for a long 
time and though the Illinois, Kickapoos. Miamis, were permitted 
to make temporary villages on the banks, and establish trade 
with the French who at an early time resorted there, yet the region 
was held by the original people. The Sioux undertook to drive 
them away but were not able to get possession. For a long time 
the region was the battle ground between the two great races, the 
Dakotas and the Algonquins. The Algonquins held it. They 
told Champlain that there were mines on the banks of the lake 
and he located mines on his first map but placed them near Green 
Bay instead of on the bank of Lake Superior, owing to his want 
of acquaintance with the geography of the region. The discovery 
of the mines did not occur, however, until 1848. At the time of the 
discovery wooden bowls for bailing water, wooden shovels for 
throwing out the debris, wooden levels and props for raising and 
supporting the mass of copper, and wooden ladders for ascending 
and descending the pits were found. These would indicate that 
a civilized race once worked the mines. It is not at all certain 
but that the French left tlie relics discovered there. Mr. J.W.Foster 
speaks of the high antiquity of the mine and says the trenches 
and pits were filled even with the surrounding surface; that fine 
washed clay enveloping half decayed leaves and the bones of quad- 
rupeds such as the bear and deer, indicated the slow accumulation 
of years rather than a deposit resulting from a torrent of water; 
and that upon the piles of rubbish were found trees growing which 
differed in no degree in size and character from those growing in 
the adjacent forest. He mentions the fact, however, that Mr. S. 
O. Knapp, who first discovered the ancient mines, found a place 
Avhere the miners had left a portion of the vein stone to prop the 
hanging wall. He found also an artificial depression 26 feet deep 
filled with clay and a matted mass of vegetable mould. At a depth 
of 18 feet he came to a mass of native copper, 10 feet long, 3 feet 
wide, and nearly 2 feet thick, weighing over 6 tons It was found 
to rest on billets of oak, supported by sleepers of the same mate- 
rial. The ancient miners had evidently raised it about 5 feet and 
then abandoned the work. The wood was nearly decomposed, 
but the earth was so firmly packed about it, as to support the mass 
of copper. Other mines have been discovered. At one place a 
series of pits, some of which were 14 feet deep, and in one of the 
pits a wooden bowl. A large number of ancient hammers have 
been taken out fi-om the mines. Mr. Foster says they would ex- 
ceed ten cart loads. Charcoal was found lying on the surface of the 
rock showincT that fire had been used. The conclusion of ATr. Fos- 


ter is that the Mound Builders and the copper mines must be con- 
nected. The copper found in the mounds all the way from Wis- 
consin to the Gulf Coast, and the number of relics, is too great to 
suppose that they were all derived from the boulder drift. Their 
wide distribution is evidence of an extensive commerce. This, 
however, does not prove that the effigy builders were the miners. 
The connection between the ancient mines and the mounds to the 
east and to the west is as direct as that between the mines and 
the effigies of the south. There is a water communication by 
way of Lake Superior with all the lakes to the east. And the 
portages from Lake Superior to the rivers which flow to the west, 
are not so long as to those which flow to the south. On the sup- 
position that the Winnebagoes erected the effigy mounds we 
should expect few copper relics to be found in them. They were 
a branch of the Dakotas or Sioux and the Siou.x seem to have 
been excluded from the mines. The Algonquins seem to have 
had access to the mines but the Dakotas were excluded. It is a 
noticeable fact that copper relics are much more numerous on the 
east side of the Mississippi River Algonquin territory as it was, 
than on the west side in the Dakota country. 

As the matter stands at present, we should say that the copper 
relics of Wisconsin were left by Algonquin tribes, and the major- 
ity of them belong to a later period than the effigies. For the 
same reason, we should ascribe the ancient miniuijto the Aleon- 
quins. We leave, however, the question open for further light. 

III. We now come to an important point, the age of the 
emblematic mound builders. WY- have spoken of the different 
periods and of the different races. We are now to ask, to what 
time shall we ascribe the effigies. In a general way we are ready 
to make the answer that they are the earliest monuments of the 
State though we do not undertake to say how early they were. 
We propose to go over the evidences as to their age and to take up 
the various points to prove that they were antecedent to other 
works but subsequent to the period of the extinct animals. 

1. The study of the topography shows that the effigies were 
built after the land had received its general features. The 
same distribution of forest and prairie; the same or a similar level 
of the soil; the same or a similar depth to the streams and lakes 
and the same natural products as existed when the Continent was 
discovered and the region explored by the white man. There 
could have been no great change in the forest for the same trees 
were growing upon the effigies as are indigenous to the soil. Nor 
could there have been a very marked change in the fauna for the 
animals imitated are those which were formerly abundant here. 
Not a single e.xtinct animal has been found with the exception 
of the much disputed elephant or mastodon effigy. Not a single 
modern animal like the horse, cow, or sheep, has been found in 


effigy. Everything indicates an indigenous forest and an indi- 
genous fauna. 

2. The study of village sites brings us to the same conclusion. 
The history of the State is not old, and yet the date of explora- 
tion goes back to as early a period as any part of the West. The 
opinion is probably well founded that the effigies were built long 
before the time ot this exploration. The description of the vil- 
lages would indicate this. There were many villages scattered 
along* the water courses, some of which were described by the 
Jesuit Missionaries and the other explorers. It is very remarka- 
ble that these villages were situated in the same localities where 
effigies have been since discovered. The study of the mounds 
and effigies has, however, failed to show any connection between 
the early villages and the effigies, a. The mounds and relics which 
have been discovered on the village sites are of a different class 
and show that they were built by a diflerent people. b.The location 
is different. They are nearer the water on lower ground and are 
not so massive or so extensive. It is generally supposed that the 
corn hills and conical tumuli which are found near these various 
historic points belong to the tribes who were there at the time 
of the early explorations, but that the effigies preceded them. We 
have examined the different prehistoric works at Marquette where 
it is supposed was the village of the Mascoutens which the early 
explorer and Jesuit Father Marquette visited; and where the 
Jesuit Allouez established the mission of St. James. We there 
followed a line of mounds which extended along the ridge which 
bounds the lake on the south side, for two or three miles, and 
found many remarkable effigies consisting of massive bears, foxes, 
and other animals and many long and conical mounds.* 

c.Thevare remote from the village and probablv had no connec- 
tion with the conical tumuli which were formerly numerous on the 
village site. d. Another reason for supposing these effigies to have 
been erected before the time of the exploration, is that the tribes 
then occupying the land were only temporary fugitives from the 
Iroquois, so temporary that the mission was scon abandoned. 
There were also several tribes, and on the supposition that they 
were effigy builders we would expect a variety of clan emblems. 
This region, however, wai occupied by only one clan or at least 
presents only one general clan totem, the squirrel, the same totem 
that prevails at Green Lake. The same is true of other localities. 
Sauk City was a place where the Sacs and I'^oxes had a village. 
Jonathan Carver found them here, in i 780. Tliere arc at corn hills 
here. These can be seen from the depot and cover quite an area 
of ground. There are groups of effigies in the neighborhood, a 
laree wild fjoose on the bluff on the east side of the river ; a series 
of long mounds and effigies surrounding a low place or swail as 

*Secs 22 and 27. T. 15, R. 12. Another group consisting of a deer and two bears may be found 
near the br.clge on Sec. 10 and is. 'W 15, K. 12. Also on the Sugar Loaf, Sec. 35, T 16, R. 12. • 




if it were a corral for herding animals or a place for watching wild 
animals as they grazed. This is a mile and a half west of the vil- 
lage. In the same neighborhood but several miles farther west 
is the extensive group of effigies which has been described by Dr. 
Lapham situated on Honey Creek.* 

e. There are many places where history has located Indian vil- 
lages, and near which effigies have been discov'ered. The author 
has examined various earl)' maps in ^\■hich the Indian villages are 
laid down and especially Farmer's Map, and has visited the differ- 
ent localities to identify the villages which are known to have ex- 
isted and the correspondence with these of the groups of effigies. 
The following are the places where villages and effigies have been 
examined: on the Rock Riv^er, at Lake Koshkonong, at Madison 
on the Four Lakes, at Fox Lake, at Horicon, at Lake Wnincbago, 
at Manitowoc, and Milwaukee. 

f The situation of the effigies have proven to be quite different 
from that of the villages. Some of the \illages are on one 
side of the lake and the effigies on another side, and e\en 
when on the same side somewhat remote. At Fox Lake it was 
found that the villages \\ere on the north side but the effigies 
on the south. At Geneva, the village of Big Foot, was at 
the west end of the lake, while the effigies were upon the other 
end. At Madison the village was on the west side of Lake Men- 
dota, and the effigies on the north and south sides. At Lake 
Winnebago the effigies were upon the east and southeast of the 
lake but the \-illages were upon the west and north side and upon 
the island between the two ri\ers on the east side. The same is 
true of other places. There is a correspondence in a general way 
between the maps of the effigies and the villages, but it is 'only 
general. At most of the places, the totems of the later tribes 
can be distinguished from those of the earlier people. This is 
another proot of the greater antiquity of the effigies. 

3. The study of the tokens confirms the position taken. The 
successive periods of occupation are shown by the rehcs and the 
earth works but in many ])laces the relics are ver) modern. One 
of the best places to study history in Archaeology is at Lake 
Koshkonong. Here we have at least five different periods oi occu- 
pation, all of them marked on the ground, ist. The period of the 
effigy builders. 2nd. The period of the mound builders who did 
not build effigies. 3rd. The period of Indian \'illagcs, Winneba- 
goes and Foxes. 4th. The period of the trader and blacksmith. 
5th. The period of the General and his invading army. 

It is interesting to go over the ground and trace out the tokens 
of the different periods. Some of these ha\"e disappeared but the 
early inhabitants have them in mind and furnish information about 
them. The map of this lake should furnish not only the route 

•See Lapham's Antiquities of Wis. Pi. XLIV. 



of the railroad and the lines of the surveys, sectional lines, but 
should furnish the route which General Atkinson took while fol- 
lowing Black Hawk. This should be on the east side not very- 
remote from the lake. In addition we should locate the Winne- 
bago village which was on this side and the place of Black Hawk's 
encampment on Black Hawk's Island. We should locate also the 
Winnebago village and the Fox village on the west side. One 
on the north side on Mr. Rufus Bingham's land; the other south 
at Taylor's Point. We should locate the trading post with its cabin 
and old chminey and cellar which Mr. Bingham describes as in 
ruins when he first took up the land in 1839. We should also 
locate the trails; one running from this old cabin, across a group 
of effigies near by, toward Madison and the Four Lakes. This 
w ould be the historic map. For the prehistoric, we should locate 
the cornhills which cover about 40 acres of low ground near the 
old cabin including a group of burial mounds on the bank of a 
lake in front of the farm house. We should also embrace the 
caches and long mounds situated near the cornhills and above all 
should take in the large group of very ancient effigies situated 
on a hill back of the cornhills, north and west of the trader's cabin. 
There are four or five classes of remains on this one farm. The 

cabin, the corn hills, the 
trail, the caches, the bur- 
ial mounds, the effigies 
all indicate different pe- 
riods of occupation and 
yet all are situated near 
a modern Indian village. 
At Lee's Point, a mile 
further east, a large quan- 
tity of old brass and 
copper, fragments of ket- 
tles with iron rivets; old 
Fig. 156.-IRON AXES AT KOSHKONONG. ironaxcs and hoes and 
other modern relics have been found. Mr. Lee has in his posses- 
sion 27 axes and hoes. [See Fig. 156.] The hoes are made like 
the axes but with the sockets turned around so as to be at right 
angles. All of them are very rude and of American make. 

There is a group of effigies on the west side of the lake, three 
miles south and west of Mr. Bingham's farm. [Fig. 157.] 
Among the effigies are two tortoises, two panthers, a battle ax, 
several long mounds and about 100 conical mounds. This group 
is on high ground and overlooks the lake in all directions. 
A group of effigies and long mounds may be seen on a ridge 
three miles north from Mr. Bingham's consisting of a line 
of long mounds and effigies. It is situated on a sightly spot 
overlooking the lake though distant from it at least two miles. The 
region around this lake furnishes conclusive proof that the effigies 



were older than the Indian villages and were not built by the 
tribes who erected the tumuli and who dwelt here at the time 
that history bet:;^an. 

4. Another evidence of antiquity of the effigies is found in 
their weather-worn appearance. This is not always apparent, for 


there are effigies which are well preserved. These are however,, 
generally found in the forests and in places where there would 
be very little wear from the elements. There is a difference in 
the effigies, some of them seem to be older than others, even con- 
veying the impression at times that there were different periods 
among the effigy builders. Still the wear of the elements upon 
the effigies must have been much greater than upon the con- 
ical mounds, and more upon them than upon the corn hills,, 
making the effigies appear as the oldest of all, showing that three- 
different periods were occupied by these three different classes 
of works. A good illustration of this can be found at Mud Lake,, 
ten miles north of Aztalan. The writer, in company with Mr. 
Terry of Lake Mills at one time visited this place. It is remote 
from settlements and is said to have been a f^ivorite place with 
the Indians long after the rest of the country was deserted by 
them. There are two groups of mounds here, one on the 
south side of the Crawfish River composed of small conical 
mounds with a large number of corn hills surrounding them, the 
other on the north side of the river composed of large flat 
mounds surrounding an enclosure and a few effigies in the woods 
close by associated with them. The 'appearance of the conical 
mounds and corn hills indicated that they were very recent. They 
were very fresh, having no signs of being worn, but that of the 
other group was as if very old. 

Some of the conical mounds were surrounded by rings looking 
as if they had been formed by persons dancing around the 




mound and beating down the ground. This contrast between 
the appearance of the effigies and the corn hills, is much greater 
than that between the effigies and the garden beds. There is a 
series of garden beds near Sextonville in Richland Co. .which has 
nearly disappeared. They are situated on a side hill which slopes 
to the west, and are nearly 300 ft. long. Within a mile of these, 
the writer discovered a large group of long mounds and conical 
mounds arranged as if there had been a battle field and a burying 
place for the dead after battle. Not far from this so-called battle- 
field are a number of effigies. The effigies and conical mounds 
in this case seem to to much better preserved than the garden 
beds. The writer has also discovered near Mayville a plat of 
garden beds, and surrounding the plat, an immense effigy of a 
serpent, the serpent being made from a natural ridge. Both pre- 
sented evidences ot age. 

5. "Another proof consists in the fact that the corn hills and 
garden beds, and in some cases the conical tumuli are placed on 
the top of the effigies showing that the later people had no re- 
gard for the sacred character of the totems which the earlier 

races had erected. 

Dr. Lapham has referred to this and 
civen several instances where it oc- 

S^^^^^^^^'S^^curs, Theie is force in what he says. 
♦!^.w-lS. The effigies at Milwaukee are illus- 
trations of the point. The effigies 
here are mainly of two kinds, the 
coon and panther, and were prob- 
ably built as clan emblems. They 
were situated on all the high points 
and at the edges of the bluffs in va- 
rious parts of the city. There were 
groups in the first ward near the cor- 
ner of Johnson and Main streets; 
[See Fig. 158.] in the third ward 
between the fifth and sixth, at the 
Fig. 158-EFFiGiEs AT MILWAUKEE, junction of Waluut street; in the 
fifth ward; [Compare also with Figs. loi, 134, 1 35.] In the eleventh 
ward near Bayview; on the Kinnikinnick and near Forest Home 
Cemetery. There were also intaglio effigies near the cemetery, 
and five excavated effigies, intaglio effigies as they are called, in 
one group at Indian Prairie, five miles north of tlie city. Corn 
fields and garden beds were found in two or three localities, but 
in each j:Jace extended over the effigies; in one case they had 
nearly obliterated the animal shape. It would seem from this 
that the effigy builders had previously occupied the region and 
had built the clan emblems on the hill top to show their right 
of possession, and had placed the prey gods in the shape of in- 
taglio effigies as defences for their own fields, but that other races 
had come in after them and had ruthlessly covered these effigies 



Fig. 159. 


witli their corn hills. Dr. Lapham refers to one case where the 
corn hills were built over the effigies and where a recent grave 
of an Indian had been placed on the summit of an effigy. We 
have discovered effigies with conical mounds built upon them; 
tlie mound evidently having been placed there since the effigy 
was erected. One such case was found near Belmont, west 
of Plattcville. There are also many other cases of the same kind 
in the state. 

6. The last evidence of the antiqui y of the effigy builders is 
found in the fact that no effigy of modern animals has been found 
in them. They are in the shape of animals which formerly ex- 
isted here; bears buffalo, squirrels, foxes beavers, panthers, turtles, 
■n illustration of this fact is given in the cut which represents 
the animals which have been discovered by the author and plot- 
ted as new specimens never before described. These effigies 
were found in different parts of the state. The buffalo and lizard 
near Beloit. The tortoise on the west side of Lake Koshkonong. 
The smaller squirrel near Mayville. The panther or cougar and 
the beaver in a group near Belmond. The latter is the effigy 
which is referred to above as having an intruded burial upon it. 
The buffalo represented in the attitude of attack as if guarding 
the caches or pits seen in the figure, was discovered near Lake 
Wingra. The larger squirrel was found near the Neponauk Club 
House on the north side of Lake Puckaway. See Fig. 159. 

No extinct animal is represented by the effigies. The so-called 
elephant effigy would be regarded by some as an exception , and 
evidence has been presented by it to prove the effigy builders to be 
contemporaneous with the mastodon, but there is so much un- 
certainty in relation to this mound that we have to reject it. 
We should say that the effigy builders were subsequent to the 
mastodon but preceded the advent of the white man. The animals 
which they represent are such as were common among the for- 
ests of the West; no modern animal is represented by them. In 
this respect they differ from the pipes. There are pipes which 
have modern animals upon them and give evidences of having 
been made after the advent of the white men. The moulded 
■earthworks of Wisconsin resemble the pipes in that they have 
so many animal figures and represent the animals in many dif- 
ferent attitudes, but they differ from the pipes in that they con- 
tain no foreign animal so far as we can discover and imitate noth- 
ing that was introduced by the white man. We place them all 
before the time of the discovery. 





The question who built the effigy mounds has been discussed 
in a previous paper. We are now to take up the subject in a 
more specific manner, and to speak of the myths which were 
embodied in these monnds. The position which we have 
taken is, that the effigy mounds were clan totems, but as these 
totems are so similar among all the tribes it has been impossible 
to tell from these what tribe built the efiigies. We therefore are 
to take up the effigies again, and to ask whether there were any 
myths embodied in them, and if so, whether they are myths 
which can be identified as belonging to any particular tribe. In 
this way we hope to bring the problem nearer to a solution even 
if we do not get the final answer. The customs, myths and 
superstitions of the native races may be recognized in the effigies, 
and yet the identification does not prove definite, but the embod- 
iment of the myths of some particular tribe would make the 
matter so certain that most people would be satisfied with it. 
Our effort in this paper then will be to make the inquiry as 
definite and specific as possible. 

Before beginning on the discussion of the question, we shall 
first enquire what tribes formerly existed on the ground where 
these effigies are found. W^c begin with histor}^ and go back to 
prehistoric times. There is one advantage furnished to us by the 
history of the state. The record of exploration goes back to a 
very early period. There is no state throughout the entire north- 
west which has an earlier record, not even Ohio, which has so 
recently celebrated its centennial. It is on this account that the 
Indian tribes of Wisconsin are so well known. We have only to 
refer to the reports of the explorers Marquette, Allouez, Joliet and 
others, and to study the history of explorations since their advent 
to ascertain exactly what Indian tribes formerly existed here. 

Let us go over in a brief way the history of the Indians and 
ask from this what tribe was here the earliest and what had 
the most permanent stay. We know the names of the tribes 
which were here between the dates of the first discovery and the 
first settlement, 1680 to 1820 and their location. The division 
of the territory during that time was as follows: The Pottowata- 
mies were located along the lake shore, from the state line to 
the south shore of Green Bay ; the Menominees on the north 


shore of Green Bay and on either side of the river which bears 
their name; the Sacs and Foxes were on the Fox river from its 
mouth to its source, and were passing over to the Wisconsin on 
their migratory route to the Mississippi river and to the mouth 
of the Des Moines river; the Winnebagoes occupied the south 
part of the state, including the whole valley of the Rock river 
and both sides of the Wisconsin river; the Chippewas and 
Ottawas were living in the north part of the state. They claimed 
the whole region around Lake Superior and disputed territory 
west of the lake with the Dakotas. Besides these there were a 
few tribes which had a temporary sojourn, as the Hurons. on the 
headwaters of the Chippewa, and the Mascoutens, a branch of 
the Kickapoo tribe or Illinois Indians, on the south shore of the 
Fox river near Lake Puckaway and Green Lake. There was 
also a portion of the country which seemed to be direlect. It 
was that portion which is now occupied by lumber camps situated 
on the watershed between the rivers which flow into Lake Su- 
perior and those which flow south. 

This history is very significant. We have already said that 
there were traces of different periods of occupation. We learn 
from this what tribes occupied the soil. The location of villages, 
of trading posts and of Indian camps have been ascertained by 
the relics and by the mounds, and in some cases the identifica- 
cation of villages known to history has taken place. This work 
has not been carried out as far as it should, and yet there are 
places on the Fox river, Wisconsin river, the Rock river, and 
near the various lakes, such as Lake Koshkonong, Geneva lake, 
the Four Lakes, where tradition, history, archaeology, ethnol- 
ogy and mythology all conspire to make the record which is left 
upon the soil a very expressive one. 

We take as an illustration a particular locality, viz., the region 
about Lake Koshkonong. Here there are tokens of five periods 
of occupation, as follows: See map of Koshkonong. 

1. The marks of wagon wheels, the broken wheels of the 
carriages for cannon, the tame grass and spears of oats growing 
amid the forests, and the marks of horses' hoofs, tokens of the mili- 
tary route which Gen. Atkinson took during the Black Hawk 

2. Corn fields, cabins of traders, remains of brass kettles, iron 
axes, tokens of the days of the traders. 

3. Next, fire beds, shell heaps, the debris of camps and In- 
dian graves, tokens of the temporary sojourn of the later tribes. 

4. Mounds containing bones which have a fresh look, copper 
knives and other relics, tokens of the tribes preceding history. 
Other larger mounds, containing older relics, also tokens of a 
tribe preceding these. 

5. Effigies, burial mounds, game drives and other tokens 
illustrate another and earlier period. 


This is the history of one locality. There are many other 
places where the same record is written upon the soil. Diligent 
investigation may be necessary to bring out the record, and yet 
each of the localities which we have mentioned above has a simi- 
lar history. The garrisons of the white man, the cabins of the 
trader, the sacristy of the missionary, the relics of the different 
tribes which have dwelt here since the discovery, and the 
mounds, and the relics which were left by the tribes which pre- 
ceded history, these are to be studied with a view of ascertain- 
ing the history. But back of these is the period of the effigy 
builders. The question is not whether these tribes can be 
identified by the tokens, and whether in the different localities 
we can recognize the presence of the tribes, but it is whether 
any one tribe can be selected as the probable builders of the 

The writer has been able to identify certain villages of certain 
tribes, but mainly those of the later occupation. The earlier 
period is now before us for our examination and we are to stud}'- 
the mythology of the different tribes for light on the subject. 
It has been easy for the writer to fix upon the villages of the 
Sacs and Foxes and several of them have been identified, one of 
of them at Buttes des Mort>, one at Wauzeka and one at Lake 
Koshkonong. The villages of the Pottowottamies have been 
identified at Milwaukee, Waukesha, Big Foot or Geneva Lake 
and at Mud Lake. At the latter place the writer discovered 
corn hills, dance circles and other tokens, all of which were so 
fresh that it was not difficult to imagine that foot prints were 
still to be seen. The sites of several Wienebago villages have 
also been determined. These in nearer the effigies than any 
other villages. 

This and other circumstances have rendered it probable that the 
Winnebagoes were the effigy builders. There are several things 
that favor this supposition. In the first place the Winnebagoes, 
according to history and the early maps, were scattered over the 
very territory where the effigies are found, but all other tribes 
only occupied a portion of the territory. Their habitat extended 
from Green Bay to the mouth of the Wisconsin river, and from 
the Fox river on the north to the Kishvvaukee on the south, and 
it seems probable that they once occupied the whole country in 
which the effigy mounds are situated. In the second place, the 
Winnebagos were a branch of the Dakotas, and had customs and 
superstitions similar to them. The Dakotas were sworn enemies 
to the Chippewas and Ottawas. There was always a direlict 
country between them, it is very remarkable that there are no 
effigy mounds in this region. The point farthest north at which 
effigies have been discovered is near Wausau, on the Wisconsin 
river, and at Trempeleau, near the Chippewa river. A third 
thing in their favor is that the Dakotas have a tradition among 


them that their ancestors came from Ohio and the beHef of the 
missionaries among the Dakotas is that the mounds of Ohio 
were built by them. The fourth evidence is the one which brings 
up the question of myths. There are effigies in Wisconsin, in 
Dakota, in Ohio, which have such striking resemblances to one 
another that we are tempted to think that they were built by the 
same people. These effigies will be spoken ot herealter. A 
fifth point is worthy of notice. The Tuteloes, a branch of the 
Dakotas, are known to have left the main stock at an early date 
in their migrations from the east and pass down to the east side 
of the Alleghany mountains, and finally fix themselves in north- 
eastern Georgia, the very place where the celebrated bird effigies 
built of stone have been discovered. These five points of testi- 
mony have led us to take the myths, traditions and customs of 
the Winnebagoes and Dakotas for our comparison, rather than 
those of any other tribe. 

We are to study the effigies and see if we can discover in them 
the customs, myths and superstitions of any known people. Our 
comparison will be between Indian myths and effigy mounds, 
but especially the myths of the Winnebagoes and the effigies of 

Our position is this, that if the effigies were built by any 
known tribe, they were in all probability built by the Winne- 
bago Indians and yet we are not all certain that they can 
be identified with this tribe, and only take it up as a tenta- 
tive theory. Before beginning the discussion, we shall take 
the occasion to protest against any presumption in the case. 
We have in the past contended against the recent origin of the 
effigies and have protested against confounding the relics found 
in other mounds with those found in the effigies, and so we do 
again in the present paper. We contend for neither a very great 
antiquity nor a very high civilization, yet we contend against a 
too recent date and a too certain confounding of the ancient 
with modern tribes. 

I. We first take up the totem system. Our first inquiry is 
whether there were any clan emblems among the Winnebagoes 
which can be identified in the effigies. In answer to this we are 
to say that the clan emblems of all the northern tribes were so 
similar that it would be almost impossible to identify them in the 
effigies, and the only way we can do so is to take these in their 
localities and compare them with the locations of the villages 
and clans of this people as they are known to history. On this 
point there are some interesting facts and coincidences. 

I. In making out a map of the mounds we have found that 
there were ancient divisions indicating that the state was divided 
into clan habitats. We have also found that the ancient villages 
correspond closely to the present centers of population, the clans 
having made their homes at those points where modern popula- 


tions have their cities, natural advantages for subsistence and 
the attractions of scenery having been inducements to the earher 
and the later races. The Mound-builders were a rude people, 
and were not able to force nature out of her ordinary channels, 
but were obliged to conform themselves to the material condi- 
tions. The rivers were their channels of communication. Their 
villages were at the mouths of rivers or at the junction of larger 
and smaller streams or upon the banks of the beautiful lakes. In 
these respects, however, they did not differ from the early settlers, 
and we find the native and the white population very similar. 

2. There are several places where villages of the effigy builders 
have been discovered. In all of these places the clan emblem 
has been recognized and in some of them the clan boundaries 

Fig. 160.— Turtles and Pantheis in a Game Drive at Beloit.* 

have been fixed. The method of identifying the clan name or 
emblem is a very simple one, for wherever effigies are situated 
we generally find one particular animal form prevailing above 
all the rest, the others being plainly subordinate to it. These 
effigies are always found in connection with the villages, look- 
outs, burial places, game-drives, and every other group. Fre- 
quently there would be lone effigies on some hill-top between 
the clan boundaries. There would sometimes be places or re- 
gions where effigies are strewn over the ground in thick profusion 
and then there will be spaces for several miles where no effigies 

*The straight line in this cut represents the railroad and the wagon road from Be- 
loit to Janesvill'^. The group has nearly been destroyed. The location will be seen 
from the cut. 


appear. These we consider to be the clan habitats, the village 
being in the center of the clan territory. It is easy to trace out 
the clan centers. The main difficulty is, however, in fixing the 
the boundaries of the clans, for frequently the same emblem will 
be found at quite remote points and the clan habitat will seem to 
cover spaces which on the map will be as large as the present 
counties, and sometimes include two or three of them. 

3. Another point is noticeable. The clan emblems are some- 
times, especially upon the banks of the lakes, mingled together. 

Occasionally there are groups of effigies at points quite re- 
mote from streams or lakes and it may be that clans moved from 
their prominent centers and made sugar camps or camps for 
hunters and there left their clan emblems upon the soil. This 
corresponds with the customs of the Dakotas. We learn from 
Fiancis Parkman and Miss Alice Fletcher that the Dakotas were 
accustomed to leave their villages and go considerable distances 


'■'-. •"' 


Henderson Mound 

Fig. 161.— Turtle Mound near Beloit. 

to hunt buffalo and other game, and so had two sets of villages 
or places of encampment, which constituted their winter home 
and their summer home. We learn also from other sources that 
Indians are accustomed to visit one another and make long 
stays. The members of different clans would thus be mingled 
together, and in later times even the fragments of different tribes 
would make their villages in close contact. 

These points will be illustrated by specific cases. Take for 
instance the effigies formerly situated at Milwaukee. Here there 
were two villages, one at Indian Fields, near Forest Home Cem- 
etery, the other at Indian Prairie, six miles north of the city. 

These villages may have belonged to different clans, as the 
effigies found'ln the northern village correspond to others found 
near the headwaters of the Milwaukee river, while those in the 
southern village correspond with others found along the lake 



shore at Racine and elsewhere. Still the fact that there were 
two villages, and the additional fact that effigies were formerly- 
scattered all over the hills whereon the present city is built shows 
that this, the commercial metropolis of the state, was an impor- 
tant center for the effigy-builders. There is this difference 
between the modern and the ancient people. In modern times 
the hiils have been graded down and the marshes and low grounds 
have been filled up; but in the ancient times the scene was left 
in its native wildness and the effigies were placed on the bluffs 
and hilltops, at points where they could command the best view 
of the lowlands, but where they could be reached from one river 
or another. The communications seem to have been by the 
rivers and not by the lakes, though the lake may have been occa- 
sionally navigated in canoes by the effigy-builders. 

There were other centers of population among the effigy- 
builders besides this at Milwaukee, viz: at Racine, at Waukesha, 

Fig. 16S.— Turtle Efflgy near the State Line. 

at Big Bend, at Beloit, at Madison, at Baraboo, at Muscoda, at 
Prairie du Chien, at LaCrosse, at Trempeleau, at New Lisbon, 
at Montello, at Marquette, at Green Lake, at Fond du Lac, or 
near there, at West Bend, at Sheboygan, at Red Banks, near 
Green Bay, all of which places are at present regarded as impor- 
tant centers for modern population. The scenery at all of these 
points is still regarded as attractive and the lakes and rivers still 
furnish natural advantages for subsistence and for the purposes 
of modern society. What is more, the love of scenery is draw- 
ing to the region, in increasing numbers every year, those who, 
by reason of wealth, have leisure to .spend their summers in the 
most attractive places ; thus showing that the same natural tastes 
prevail now among the civilized that formerly prevailed among 
the uncivilized people. 

As to the division of the native race of effigy-builders into 
clans, we find special evidence of this in the totem .system. We 
have no doubt whatever that many of the effigies were clan 
emblems, and we think that we have identified the habitats of 


many of the clans by them. The places where we have studied 
the effigies with the view of locating the clans are as follows : 
At Big Bend, at Beloit, at Muscoda or Eagle Township, at Prairie 
du Chien, at Baraboo and at Green Lake. In all of these places 
the clan emblem has been identified, and in most of them it has 
V >. > been found asso- 


ciated with vil- 


lage sites, game 


drives, look-out 

_..- \ \ 

stations, burial 

■ : ''''* 

mounds, altars. 

■; • ■ 

garden-beds and 

\ \ \ i;-.. 

dance- c i r c 1 es. 

\ \ \ "^ 

Theclan emblem 

\ \ \ \ 

at Beloit was the 

/ / ; c\ 

turtle. We have 

11/ wo 

discovered the 

; I • '•'* 

village site, the 

/■.I / / 

burial ground, 

/ .^ ! // 

5 ..-^ 

the look-outs. 

the game-drives, 

and the turtle is 

I j / 0">^ ^"(j. 

the animal figure 

.:• : /</^ 

everywhere pres- 
ent. One game- 

f : ;" ^«/^ T) u bounds 

drive has the 
buffalo along 

/ /"' ..> s- i /"^ 

with the turtle. 

//.•••■ ^-^ ^ ^-\ ^'<^ 

another has the 

; ." •' ^*'""'t,;i ~ - 
: •• : 0*""^ .••.•••^ 

panther with the 
turtle. See Fig. 
i6o. There are 

• : : "^'iit*'* ..'*'" ,»• 

occasional ly 

\ ■■ \ ..•■•"' •••■" 

bird effigies with 

\ \ ''••.... " 

the turtle, but 

this is the pre- 

vailing emblem 

/ / / 200 ft 

It is seen on the 

:" r 

bluff three miles 

* r * 

north of the 

Fig. 163. — Burial Effigies near Water-Works at Beloit 

city, where it 

served as a look-out. See Fig. i6i. It is found again half a 
mile further north, and again a mile still further north, all three 
of these groups, probably, having been connected with the 
game-drive on the bottom-land below. Fig. ii8 and map. It is 
found also on the state line east of the city (see Fig. 162), and 
at the head-gates half a mile north, and again on the bluff near 



the old stone mill. Another group with the turtle is also to be 
seen a mile south of the city, on a knoll near the road to Rockton. 

It is found near the water-works, where it marks the burial 
place of the clan. See Fig, 163. It was placed as a look-out on 
the bluff near the college campus, and may be supposed to guard 
the gate-way to the village which was situated on the campus; 
another turtle mound being at the foot of the bluff near the river 




Fig. 16U.— Mounds on the College Grounds. 

bank, to protect the landing place at that point. See Fig. 164. 
Turtle mounds are found scattered along the bluffs to the east of 
the city, but here they probably mark the sites of cabins which 
were erected by the people. The turtle is seen in every group 
which has been found in this vicinity, and seems to have been the 
chief mound in each. 

There are twelve groups and about 100 mounds in all, but of 
this number 21 are Turtle mounds. The groups are so placed 
that one answers to another from all the hill tops, but the turtle 




is the" observatory in all 
in these places, for the 

cases. The problem is very 
same effigy is so often re- 
peated, and is so free from 
the intrusion of totems 
belonging to other clans, 
that it is easy to trace the 
emblem in all groups and 
to determine the uses of 
the different groups. 

There is, however, a 
point worthy of notice: We 
discover the same emblem 
repeated at other and remote 
localities; but this we have 
explained by the supposi- 
tion that there were differ- 
ent gentes living in the 
state and that these gentes 
„. were divided into sub- 
gentes, some of which had 
the same clan emblem. We 
have found the turtle em- 
blem at two different places; 
the one in the eastern part 
of the state near Pewaukee, 
Oconomowoc and S u m- 
mit; and again in the south- 
ern and central part of the 
state near Beloit. In both 
places the turtle mound 
was so numerous and was 
so scattered over the re- 
gion that we could not re- 
frain from the belief that it 
was a clan emblem. The 
localities are at least sev- 
enty miles apart, and it 
seems probable that the 
turtles were the emblems 
of two different clans. See 
Fig. 165. 

The turtle clan at Pe- 
waukee, to which we have 
referred above, seems to 
have extended over a con- 
siderable region, but the 
lakes and marshes and 

prairies are so connected with one another as to show that the 

same clan had their abode in the entire region. 


Another point, there are clans which seem to have wandered 
to considerable distances and to have placed their emblem at 
remote points. These points are, to be sure; connected by 
water-courses or trails, and yet the distances seem to bring in 
an additional factor to the problem. To illustrate: the eagle 
is the clan emblem in the region about Muscoda. We have 
found it here in a great number of groups and a great variety 
of attitudes, serving many different purposes. See Fig. i66.'* 

It was discovered associated with a deer in a deer-drive, as 
a look-ont station connected with a probable altar mound called 
"the citadel," also extending along the banks of a stream, with 
the wings magnified so as to make it nearly a thousand feet in 
length; it was found also in the group which is represented in 
ihe cut, which possibly was a coral for game. The same eagle 
shape is, however, discovered at The Dells of the Wisconsin, 
some forty miles from Muscoda, and on the asylum grounds on 
the north side of Lake Mendota, some thirty miles southeast of 
the latter place. There is a resemblance between these emblems 
wherever they are found, and our explanation is that the same 
clan wandered from its own habitat and placed its emblem at 
distant points. 

The squirrel emblem furnishes an illustration of this point. 

The squirrel clan seems to have occupied the banks of three 
of the beautiful lakes — Lake Winnebago, Green Lake and Lake 
Puckaway. Within its bounds we have three or four cities — 
Fond du Lac, Ripon, Princeton — and several small villages, Mar- 
quette. Brandon and Markesan. We do not know that the 
Winnebagos ever had villages on any of the spots where the 
effigies are located, and yet this fact is plain: the squirrel was 
the clan emblem of the region. 

We have discovered the site of a village with squirrels sur- 
rounding it on the east bank of Green Lake. On the west bank 
squirrel effigies are very numerous. They are situated on the 
summits of all the hilltops that surround that beautiful lake on 
every side. We found one day a very interesting squirrel effigy 
near the Neponauk Club House. This was on the north side of 
Lake Puckaway. We discovered also at Utley several squirrel 
effigies, but in the neighborhood were effigies of snakes, buffalos 
and wild geese. f 

As to the mingling of the clan emblems, there are many 
illustrations of this. The lakes, and especially those where 
game abounds, seem to have been places of resort for the dif- 
ferent clans. At several of these lakes we have discovered the 
emblems of the clans adjoining, and have been able to pick out 
the emblem which belonged to one clan and that which belonged 

*See Fies. .58, 59, 63, 82, 83, 84 and 85, in previous papers; also map of works at Eagle 
Township; also map of Dane county. 
+See Diagram VIII, also Fig. 159. 







to another, and to identify the 

clans which made their resort 
at these places. The following 
remarks will illustrate this point : 
Lake Koshonong is in the vi- 
cinity of Beloit and at the same 
time is on the river \vhich flows 
from the Four Lakes. It also 
has a close connection with the 
region about Aztlan. At Lake 
Koshkoncng there is a great di- 
versity of forms. We imagine that 
several clans were in the habit 
of assembling here and spending 
their time in fishing. We have 
discovered the turtle, thepanther, 
the eagle, the tortoise, the swal- 
low or nighthawk, the lizard, the 
heron, the catfish and many oth- 
er effigies. We conclude that 
more than one clan totem was 
embodied in these effigies.* 

This same is true at the Four 
Lakes. Here there are many 
effigies. They are situated on 
both sides of Second Lake, on 
four sides of Lake Monona, on 
three sides of Lake Wingra, on 
four sides of Lake Mendota, and 
are as diverse and varied in 
I form as they can well be. We 
have not been able to identify 
the clan which formerly dwelt 
here. It is probable that the same 
custom prevailed here which 
was spoken of at Lake Kosh- 
konong. Several clans came to- 
gether and spent their time in 
fishing, hunting, dancing and so- 
cial visiting. ,The uses or objects 
of the different effigies in the 
neighborhood of Madison cannot 
all of them be ascertained, and 
yet we have found game drives, 
altar mounds, burial places, look 
outs and places of temporary 

*See Figs. 10, 1.5, Diagrrams III, IV, Fig. 
157, and the map of Lake Koshkonong. 



encampment. Perhaps the locality where the effigies are the mos 
numerous and at the same time where they are best preserved 
is on the north side of Lake Mendota, on the asvlum grounds. 
Here there are figures of the panther, of the buAalo, eagle, the 
squirrel, the mink, fox and many other animals. There seems 
to have been a continuous line of mounds all along the north 
shore of the lake. The object of these effigies is unknown, and 
yet they are very interesting, as they contain a great variety of 
animal shapes. On the south shore of the same lake there were 


• • 


Fig. 16S— Effigies near the Fair Grounds. 

formerly many effigies ; one where the capital now stands, several 
on the university grounds, two near Merill's springs, and one 
at the stone quarry. 

In the group at Merrill's springs, the wild goose appears and 
with it the eagle, and just at the springs two bufTalo and an 
eagle effigy and a row of round mounds. See Fig. 167. At 
the stone quarry there is an effigy of a massive elk and an 
immense mink or weasel. On the observatory hill there is an 
eagle and a turtle, both of them look-out mounds, but on the 


Fig. 169— Burial Mounds near Lake Wingra. 

cemetery hill there is a line of effigies, and in the line a wild goose 
and two or three wolves or panthers. On the dairy farm, near the 
fair grounds, there were formerly several effigies (see Fig. 168,) 
and among them the panther. A group of round mounds is 
situated near Lake Wingra (see Fig. 169), but on the ground of 
the Charity School is a group in which are a panther, wild 
goose, eagle, rabbit, wild cat and lynx. On the bank of Lake 
Wingra, near Greenbush, is another group with a buffalo in a 
singular attitude, several indistinct mounds, a wild goose, fox 



and man mouud ; on the effigy hill, near the soap factory, an 
eel, a snail or dragon, an altar mound, and a panther in front of 
the altar; on the Graham place,* near the assembly grounds, are 
two interesting panthers. There was formerly on the capital 
grounds an immense turtle or lizard, with head and tail stretched 
out in a straight line, and feet to either side. See Fig. 170. If 
we take the whole series and count them up we would have 
fifteen panthers, nine eagles, six wild geese, one elk, four buffalo. 
The panther is the most numerous. On the Second Lake, there 
are two groups; on one side we have discovered the beaver, the 
antelope and the wild goose; on the east side the badger, the 
hedge-hog or woodchuck and several long mounds. 

Besides these is the very interesting mound in Mill's Woods, 
which represents the crane or heron with its wings spread. This 
IS nearly obliterated, but was very symmetrical. See Fig. 171 

I — 

Fig. 170.— Effigy at the Capitol. 

Our conclusion is that Madison was a sort of capital for the 
effigy builders; representatives of all the clans assembled here 
and made laws for those who stayed at home. To confirm this 
idea of it being a gathering place for different clans, we would 
say that we have discovered the habitat of the eagle clan at Eagle 
township, on the Wisconsin river. Here the eagle is almost the 
only t^^gy to be seen (see Fig. 166), but the bear effigy is very 
numerous on the ridge in the vicinity of the Blue Mounds, sev- 
eral groups of effigies being situated in the region which inter- 
venes between Madison and the mounds. The location of the 
panther clan at Madison would be in accord with many of the 
facts. The point v/hich we make in connection with the Winne- 
bagoes is that there were formerly Winnebago villages m this 

*For Madison and the Four Lake region see the following figures: 32, *^, mounds 
on east end of Lake Monona; Diagram V, west end of Lake Wabasha; Fig. 46, Effi- 
gies In Mill's Woods; Fig. 60. at Lake Wiugra; Figs. 71 and 72, Charity School; Fig. 
77, Graham Place; Figs. 82 and 84, Asylum grounds; Fig. 85, Effigy Ridge. 



vicinity, one of them being situated on the north side of Lake 
Mendota, another on the west side of Lake Waubesha, others 
east of Lake Monona and others on the trail between the four 
lakes and the old diggings or lead mines, all corresponding 
with the location of the effigies, and it is not improbable 
that these effigies are the emblems of the different clans of Win- 
nebagoes who had their villages near by. The effigies here 
probably served the same purpose that painted figures and carved 
posts served in other tribes. The totems of other tribes were 
painted upon the tents or were carved into posts and placed near 
the doors of the houses or the graves of the dead, but here were 
built as great earth-heaps, They indicated the name and ances- 
try of the people. The effigies did the same thing, but in addi- 

Fig. 171.— Crane or Heron at MilVs Woods. 

tion they served a practical purpose. They were used as screens 
for hunters, as defensive walls for villages, as foundations for 
houses, as mounds for the burial of the dead, and at the same 
time were representations of the mythologic ideas of the people. 

This point we think is clear: whatever the tribe was who built 
the effigies, that tribe evidently placed its totems or clan emblems 
on the soil. 

n. This leads us to a second and more definite point : The 
superstitions about the animals which were hunted, which pre- 
vailed among hunters, and the embodiment of these supersitions 
in the effigies. We may learn these superstitions from the va- 
rious authors. Charlevoix, the French traveler, speaking of cer- 
tain Canada Indians, says: They address their vows to the manes of 
the beasts they have killed in their former huntings, and held a 
fast that they may have dreams about them. It is necessary 
that the greater part of those whc are to go with the hunters 


should see the animals in their dreams and see them in a certain 
fixed place. After that they are sure of success. A feast is then 
given in which the new invocations of the spirits of the animals 
are again offered. The feast is given to induce the spirits of the 
animals to reveal the place where the animals may be found. 
The feast is given because the place has been revealed. 

From various authors we learn about the superstitions of the 
Indians in reference to dreams and the dependence of the Indians 
upon their dream gods. These things were to be found among 
other Indians beside those who were situated in Wisconsin, yet 
they were especially true of the Dakotas and therefore form one 
more link in the chain. There seems to have been a system of 
fetichism among all the tribes — the same system which now pre- 
vails among the Zunis — and we think this fetichism may be 
recognized in the effigies. 

Charlevoix says of this that "the kind of hunting most in 
vogue is that ot the buffalo, but the way of hunting the elk, deer 
and caribou has some resemblance to this. They surrounded 
a space of ground with posts interwoven with branches of trees, 
leaving a narrow opening where they place nets. This space is 
ot a triangular form, but from the angle they form another. The 
two enclosures communicate with each other. The two sides of 
the second triangle are also enclosed with posts interwoven in 
the same manner. They then advance keeping the line entire, 
raising prodigious cries and striking something which resounds. 
The game thus roused can only fly into the enclosure, and even 
those that escape first find them enclosed in a space too narrow 
to be able to shun the arrows which are shot at them from all 
sides. Here then we have a description of the game- drives 
which are so common in Wisconsin, the only difference being 
that these were made of wood, while those of Wisconsin were 
made of earth, though probably wooden posts were placed upon 
them. Prof Thomas says that his assistants discovered in certain 
long mounds in Crawford County, which we had previously de- 
clared was a game-drive ; the remains of posts thus confirming 
our position. The point which we make, however, is in connec- 
tion with the effigies. We have already said that the game- 
drives were formed out of long mounds arranged in parallel lines, 
but contained two classes of effigies, one the clan emblem and 
the other the emblem of the game which was sought for. It 
would seem that the dream gods — the same gods which 
among the Zunis are called the game gods and the prey gods, 
were embodied in the effigies and that these were associated 
with the clan emblems or totems in the game-drives. This was 
fetichistic. Sometimes there are three effigies or totems, the clan 
emblem, the game emblem and the emblems of the animals 
which prey upon the game. To illustrate, we have in the eagle 
clan, game-drives in which is the eagle, the elk and the fox or 


wolf. In the mink clan we have the mink, the elk or deer and 
the panther. In the turtle clan we have the turtle, and the pan- 
ther, and in the squirrel clan we have the squirrel, the deer and 
the bear chasing the deer. In the eagle clan we find in one 
place the dee/- e gy; in the same drive and near by the eagle 
Q^gy in another place, the fox or wolf as the prey god and the 
elk as the game god and the eagle as the clan totem. Every- 
where we see this superstition embodied in the effigies. 

At one point near Green Lake we have seen a deer running 
and two bears following, the picture of a very natural scene. 
The singular thing about these effigies is that a road is cut 
through the two bears lengthwise leaving only the head and 
back on one side and the legs on the other. Yet the intent of 
the picture is manifest in the effigies. At New Lisbon there is 
a panther and two coons or animals with bushy tails, all of them 
apperently running together, making a very interesting game- 
drive. On the Nichols place near Catfish Bridge, we have the 
panther as the prey god and the hunter or man accompanying 
the panther, but no deer or elk or other game totem. Fig. 172. 

This game-drive is peculiarly located. It is wedged in be- 
tween Second Lake and Third Lake, and is so arranged that 
the game could be driven down from the prairies to the east, 
across this fording place to the wooded hills and prairies west 
of the lakes. It will be noticed that there are walls or long 
mounds to prevent the game from escaping into the lakes, and 
yet there is one set of parallel walls between which the game 
could be driven into the lake and shot at while they are driven. 
The round mounds on the hill-side are scattered about so that 
the game would be obliged to pass between them. These 
mounds were formerly effigies, but they have become obliterated 
and so we represent them as round mounds. The mounds would 
be hiding places for the hunters, and there is no doubt in our 
mind but that the shape of the mounds gave an additional sense 
of security to the hunters. 

The superstitions and mythologies about the dream gods were 
very powerful among all the tribes and were evidently embodied 
in the mounds. We have discovered so many kinds of game- 
drives and found so many places these dream gods were placed 
with the clan totems that we have no doubt about it whatever. 
We explain the so-called elephant effigy in the same way. We 
think it was a gigantic buffalo and that it was accompanied by a 
hawk or massive eagle, and the two constituted a game drive or 
place where buffalo might be shot at as they passed down to the 

We would here call attention to a peculiar kind of game- 
drive. It seems to have been a kind of corral, as if the Mound- 
builders had kept domestic animals, and yet it may have been a 
trap or double screen in which the grazing animals were sup- 



posed to feed, but behind which the the hunters were supposed 
to hide. It is well known that elk, moose, and deer feed in low 
places in winter by scraping away the snow, and that in the 
summer they resort to the same places where they stamp the 
trround and beat down the high grass. These game-drives are 


Fig, 172.— Game Zh-ive near Catfish Bridge. 

low places, but near streams. One such we have discovered on 
the bank of the Turtle, three miles north of Beloit. A mile 
from this place, nearer Beloit, is the game-drive which is repre- 
sented in the cut. It is a game-drive for deer, and is arranged 
for the deer to be driven two or three different ways. We judge 
it to be a deer-drive from the fact that the panther is the effigy 
here, the panther being the animal which preys upon the deer 
There is a turtle on the low ground and another on the point 


which is used for a lookout. Our interpretation of it is that the 
deer was driven from its feeding ground to the game-drive and 
shot at from both places. See Fig. i6o. 

There is another corral at Sauk Prairie, situated on land be- 
longing to Mr. Douglas. The walls are parallel with one an- 
other and form a kind of enclosure surrounding a low place of 
ground. V/e imagine that it was an enclosure in which the 
grazing animals were gathered, though it may have been a place 
where garden beds were situated, the walls being fences to pro- 
tect them. * 

III. We next come to the superstitions about protection. It 
is worthy of notice that there are very few defenses in the State 
of Wisconsin and that what villages there are with a few excep- 
tions are surrounded with effigies as if there was a dependence 
upon th^m for security. The effigy-builders seem to have had 
a peculiar superstition about the effigies; they guarded their 
villages, their corn-fields, garden beds, dance grounds, burial 
places or houses or estufas, altars by them, and thought these 
'sufficient. Illustrations of this are numerous. It will be seen 
that the effigy-builders had a method of defending their villages 
by totems, and they felt secure in them, notwithstanding the ab- 
sence of walls or ordinary means of protection. The explanation 
of this we find in the superstition which the natives had about 
their divinities being protectors to them. On this we shall again 
quote the distinguished Charlevoix. 

This author.t in speaking of the Indians of Canada, says that 
a war when once resolved upon is provided for, not only with 
the necessary provisions and equipage of the warriors, but is 
preceded by dances, songs, feasts and superstitious ceremonies. 
He who is to command never thinks of levying soldiers till he 
has observed a fast of several days, in which he invokes his 
tutelar genius and is careful to observe what dreams he has. He 
describes the arms and implements which they use. They have 
a kind of standard or colors to know one another by. These 
are small pieces of bark, cut into a round form, which they fix 
to the head of a pole and on which is drawn the mark of their 
nation or village. If the party is numerous, each family or tribe 
has its peculiar ensign with its distinguishing marks. Their 
arms are also adorned with different figures and sometimes the 
mark of their chief But that which they are as careful to not 
forget as their arms, and which they guard with still more care, 
is their manitous. These are symbols under which they repre- 
sent their tutelar genius. They enclose these in a bag and 
distribute the bags among the elders of each family. When 
they are on the point of entering the enemy's country, they halt 
to perform a very extraordinary ceremony. In the evening there 

*See also map of works at Eagle Township and Diagram X. 
tSee Cliarlevoix's Travels, Letters XIV. Vol. I. p. 338. 




is a great feast, after which they go to sleep. In the sleep they 
are expected to have dreams, and those who have dreams will 
go from tent to tent or from fire to fire singing their death songs 
in which they insert their dreams. After this no more fires are 
lighted, no more shouting and no more hunting. They are not 
even to speak but by signs." 

Another evidence of the power of the system is the security 
which they feel under the safeguards of their totems. It is 
said that a whole army of warriors, after sending out scouts 
to see if an enemy is present, will go to sleep near their fires and 
abandon their whole camp to the safeguard of their manitous. 
The success of their hunting expeditions is also said to be de- 
pendent on the favor of their dream gods. 

We proceed then to examine the effigies to see if there was 

Fig. 173.— Village at Green Lake. 

any such reliance upon the effigies for protection. We have al- 
ready spoken of the villages which were guarded by effigies. \Ve 
again bring these up, but pass on to other evidences of protec- 
tion, namely, to the altars, the burial places, the lookouts, and 
other localities, and shall show that there was a wonderful super- 
stition about their protecting power. 

A remarkable case of a village being protected by effigies is 
the one at Green Lake. Here on the east side of the lake is a 
village site, the village being guarded by squirrel effigies, the 
squirrel being the emblem of the region. The village is a square 
enclosure, having a massive squirrel effigy on the corner of the 
enclosure, but the body and tail forming a wall along the land 
side of the village. At the opening or gateway there were four 
other massive squirrels, their heads forming an entrance, but 
their bodies and tails ran in parallel lines, so as to make a de- 
fense for the village on the north side. We recognized in the 
neighborhood, corn-fields, dance-circles and look-outs, the 
squirrel being th6 effigy everywhere present. See Fig. 173. The 



squirrel evidently protected the village. There was no wall about 
this village other than the effigy, though there may have been a 
stockade inside of it. We compare these gate-ways to the 
tents of the Dakatos and the houses of the Haidahs, where the 
figures of elks and fishes, whales, birds, or thunderbirds guard 
the entrance, and where the tribal totem seemed to form a guard 
or protection to the family. See Fig. 174. We have found only 
one place which we could call a battle-field. That is situated 
near Sextonville, Richland county. Here there are long walls, 
600 or 70c feet long, with burial mounds on either side, two 
lines of them on a level piece of ground. A pond of water was 
near one of the walls. There were no effigies. It looked very 
much like a battle-field. The burial mounds were numerous 
and close to one of the walls; no burial mound near the other 

Fil/. 171,.— House of Skillat, Oregon, 

wall. We suggest that the place should be explored and the 
mounds dug into to see whether there are sip^ns of conflict in the 

Effigies as a source of protection to agricultural fields have 
been alluded to. Illustrations of this are numerous. The garden 
beds and corn-fielJs at Indian Prairie and Forest Home, near 
Milwaukee, were protected by intaglio effigies. There are corn- 
fields on the west shore of Lake Koshkonong, near the residence 
of Mr. Rufus Bingham. 

Here the corn hills are on the low ground between two points 
which extend out toward the lake. On one point was the re- 
mains of an old French trading-point, cellar, stone chimney and 
other relics. On the other point are conical mounds arranged 
in such a shape as to give the idea that there was formerly a 
Mound-builders' village there. In the rear of both is a large 
group of effigy mounds, a group which extends along the line 
of the highlands partially surrounding the corn-fields. An old 


trail passes through this group. It would appear from history 
that there was a Winnebago village on one side and a Fox 
village on the other, the effigies being near the Winnebago 
village, but round mounds near the Fox village.* 

We speak about this particular locality where there were 
corn-fields and garden beds because we know that there were 
various superstitions about the raising of corn. In fact, every 
thing that had life about it was regarded as being a gift from the 
master of life, and the soil itself was regarded as a source of life. 
There are many places where garden-beds were protected by 
animals, sometimes the figures thus protecting them are clan 
emblems' but sometimes they are mounds which have a peculiar 
shape. In one place we found the garden-beds protected by a 
massive serpent, or rather by a natural ridge which had been 
modified and moulded so as to resemble a serpent. We do not 
know as there was any connection between this serpent ridge 
and the superstition about the weather divinities, and yet it is a 
remarkable tact that among the Dakotas the serpent is a sym- 
bol both of the lightnmg and of the rain. This great serpent 
was near Mayville and was a very peculiar object. It may have 
been a mere coincidence, and yet taken with oiher things it looks 
as if it embodied the native myth. 

IV. The superstition about the serpent is next to be consid- 
ered. Here we come in contact with a very remarkable coinci- 
dence. The serpent effigy is found in Ohio, in Wisconsin and 
in Dakota, three places where the tribe of Dakotas are sup- 
posed to have been located. There is this peculiarity about all 
of these, they are conformed to the shape of the land on which 
they are situated, the natural and the artifical shape both giving 
the idea that the serpent divinity haunted the spot. Whether 
this is a conception which is peculiar to the Dakotas or not, it 
is a very remarkable coincidence that these effigies should ap- 
pear in the places where the Dakotas have lived, and only in 
those places. There is another point to this matter. Dr. J. W. 
Phene discovered a ridge in Great Britain which had the serpent 
shape and along the ridge were placed a line of stones which 
represented the spine of the serpent. In digging into the hill a 
cist or altar was found near where the heart of the serpent would 
be. There are those who think that the Dakotas migrated from 
the east, and that they came into the continent from the north- 
east and were originally from Great Britain, Scandanavia or 
other northern parts of Europe. f Here we have a singular and 
novel confirmation of the theory. The great serpent in Adams 
County has an altar in the very center of the body and the shape 

*See Historical Collections, Vol. X. p. 72, article by Dr. J. D. Butler. This cabin 
was probably occupied by Le Sellier, Keating, p. 175. 

tSee Algonquin Legends by Mr. Charles Leland and Indian Migration by Horatio 


of the serpent corresponds to the shape of the ridge, the effigy- 
having been placed upon the ridge because of its resemblance 
to the serpent. We claim priority in the discovery of this fact. 
The suggestion made several years ago has however been taken 
up and carried out farther than we had expected. Mr, W. H. 
Holmes ascertained that the ridge was not only like a serpent in 
its general shape, but that the rocks at the end of the ridge re- 
sembled the head of the serpent in their shape, a projecting 
ledge having the appearance of the sharp nose, cavities in the 
rock above having the appearance of eyes and the form and 
color of the rocks of the cliff below having the appearance of the 
white neck and bulging mouth or jaw of the serpent, while the 
tortuous shape of the ridge made it to resemble the folds of a 
massive serpent which was creeping out from the bluff and 
thrust its immense front into the very center of the valley, the 
depresoions in the ridge above representing the rise and fall of 
the folds of the serpent. It is a conception which to any one is 
impressive and fills the mind with a kind of superstitious dread, 
but to an Indian was especially imprescive. We have only to 
imagine the fire lighted upon the altar on the top of the ridge, 
shooting its gleams up to the sky, casting fitful shadows over the 
the valley below, and filling the whole scene with its mysterious 
glare, to realize how terribly the minds of the superstitious peo- 
ple would be impressed. The fire can be seen for several miles. 
The erection of an effigy of an immense serpent a thousand or 
twelve hundred feet long on this spot was in accord with the 
superstitions of the people. It was not strange that they should 
recognize the resemblance for they seem to have been given to 
serpent worship, but the repetition of the practice of erecting 
serpent effigies in this way is remarkable. We do not know how 
they received this cult. The original home of serpent worship 
is supposed to have been in India and yet it is spread from In- 
dia to Great Britain and appears wherever the Indo-European 
race has trodden. Its introduction into this country may have 
been from Europe, via Iceland, Labrador and the northeast 
coast. The coincidences are so striking that we are inclined to 
say that it was a borrowed cult, yet there are those who main- 
tain that it was indigenous to America. 

The serpent effigy is found in many places. We here call 
attention to a recent discovery which we made at Fort 
Ancient. This fort is forty miles from Cincinnati and is 
situated on the Little Miami river. The river is a very swift and 
tortuous stream, subjected to sudden floods. It flows between 
low banks, but the bluffs rise on either side, making very wild 
and romantic scenery. The bluffs are as tortuous as the stream. 
The fort is situated on one of these tortuous ridges or bluffs. 
The walls of the fort are four and one-half miles in length, but 
are very crooked, so crooked that while the area within is only 


about eighty acres, these are about four times as long as would 
be necessary to surround that amount of land. The walls of 
the fort are in the shape of massive serpents, the heads of the 
serpents forming the gateways. The conception was taken from 
the shape of the bluffs and the land surrounding the fort. Ten 
years ago we visited the spot and discovered the resemblance of 
the walls to serpents. This was at the lower fort. Here two 
serpents are apparently contending with one another. The 
heads are near together at the gateway, one head turned side- 
ways and the other shooting straight forward. The stricture of 
the neck is represented by an opening in the walls. From this 
point the bodies separate, twisting out and leaving a wide space 
between them for the fort. The bodies rise and fall correspond- 
ing to the ground and rolls along the edge of the bluff Their 
heads form one gateway and their tails forming another, the 
whole figure having the shape of a double serpent with tails and 
heads together, a shape which was very familiar in the East In- 
dies and which there represented astronomical principles, the 
great serpent which surrounded the earth and the cosmogonic 
egg being between them. This myth is found in Scandinavia. 
It may be that it was brought to America from these countries. 
The discovery which we made, however, was this: While 
standing on the walls of the lower fort somewhere near the ter- 
races we could look down into the valley of the stream just be- 
low, and we discovered that the shape of the valley between the 
bluffs was almost exactly the shape of the fort itself and the 
bluffs themselves had the shape of the walls surrounding the 
fort. At least the two embody the same superstition in refer- 
ence to the natural and artificial effigies. So far as this is con- 
cerned there is no question. The conception was evidently 
taken from a view of the scenery. The walls and area of 
the fort were the counterparts of the bluff and the valley be- 
tween them, while the tortuous course of the swift stream com- 
pleted the picture. The figure of the serpent was everywhere 
present. The resemblance was too striking to escape observation. 
It was not a mere coincidence, but the recognition was easy. This 
recognition was undoubtedly the cause of the walls of the fort 
being in the shape of serpents. It M'as a recognition which had 
impressed the builders of the fort. The walls on which we stood 
overlooked the scene. It was a lookout station. There was a 
pathway from the fort to the lookout. This pathway had evi- 
dently been trodden by the people who dwelt in the fort. They 
had evidently stood on this spot and recognized the resemblance 
and had been impressed with it. It was a strange superstition 
and yet it was very powerful. Whether the superstition was a 
natural one or the remains of a lingering myth, a fragmentary 
tale which had come down from their fathers, or not, we do 
not know. The serpent divinity haunted the scene wherever 


this strange people went. Two serpents surrounding the hollow 
orb as we found it here is a eommon conception. This may be 
a mere coincidence, still it is worthy of study. The great serpent 
in Adams County is said by Squier and Davis to have embodied 
the cosmogonicegg. If this is the case then the same was em- 
bodied in the walls of the ancient fort. See Diagram XI. 

The same conception about the serpent is given by the effigy 
which Professor Todd has discovered in Dakota. He calls it 
"bouldermosaics." Diagram XII. The shape of the serpent is 
made by two lines of boulders which run in parallel lines along 
the summit of a large ridge, the lines separating at the head to 
represent its flattened shape, and in the center of the head two 
other boulders which represent the eyes. He says: " The eyes 
had a stony stare and the effigy resembled a serpent very plainly." 

Fig. 17o.— Serpent and Other Effigies at Utley's. 

The main point which we make is that here also we have the 
same conception. The bluff resembles a massive serpent, and 
the effigy brings out the resemblance all the more. It was the 
myth of the serpent transferred from Ohio to Dakota. Now let 
us look further for this serpent effigy and its accompanying 
animistic conception. We shall find it frequently in this state. 
The effigies here show it as plainly as the mounds of Ohio or 
the boulders of Dakota. There is a ridge within sight of the 
capitol which we call "Effigy Ridge." On the ridge is a row of 
mounds and among the mounds an altar and on either side of the 
altar effigies. On one side is the effigy of a panther,^' on the 
east side the effigy of a gigantic snail, ^^ though some would say 
that it had the shape of a dragon • on the west side, close to 
the altar, is the tortuous shape of a serpent,^* with the head 
near the altar.^" What is strange about the whole series is that 






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every one of these efifigies correspond exactly to the shape of 
the ridge, the panther being situated on a spur of the hill, but 
the serpent following along the edge of it and conforming to the 
outline, the summit of the ridge and the body of the serpent 
being one and the same thing. The effigies are so far obliter- 
ated that the resemblance would hardly be recognized, and yet 
it is there. See Fig. 175. 

Fig. 176.—jSei-pent Effigy at Brandon. 

There is another case more singular than this. In Green 
Lake County, near Brandon, ten miles from Ripon, there are 
several serpent effigies. Here is a group of mounds and a pan- 
ther among them. The panther is on a knoll.but stretching out 
to a great distance toward the bluff. On the bluff there are effi- 
gies of buffalos and squirrels and below the bluff other effigies. 
The serpent effigies are the most singular of all. Two of them 
are situated on the side of the stream close to the serpent effigy, 



but are so conformed to the tortuous course of the stream that 
they seem to have been built merely in imitation of the serpentine 
line of the stream. They are, however, natural and artificial and 
embody the same animistic conception that we have seen in so 
many other serpent effigies. There is a ridge of gravel through 
which the stream breaks, making an opening and its channel 
running along on either side of it. The serpents are on this 
ndge, the head and body covering the surface, but the tail and 
the rattles being on the level below the ridge, a sharp turn 
being exhibited at the point where the two are joined. The tail 
and the rattles of the serpents are entirely artificial, but the body 
and head are partly natural and partly artificial. The stream is 
a peculiar one. It starts on the prairie, a mile or two above. It 
breaks through a crevice and disappears, but comes out again 
with a burst from the rocky bluff and then twists and turns and 
swiftly flows through the valley. 
It is a snake, a watery snake, 
which glides through the grass, 
crawls into the crevice, disap- 
pears and then comes out again. 
It was so peculiar that it im- 
pressed the minds of the effigy 
builders, and so they erected the 
effigies of the serpents on either 
side, showing that they recog- 
nized the serpent divinity. See 
Fig. 176. 

In the same group, situated 
on the hill, is another serpent 
emblem. Its body forms a kind^ 

of circle or serpent ring, its -Ft!/. Vr-Serpent circle near Utley's. 

head and tail making a gateway or opening to the circle. The 
wall is low, in places scarcely perceptible, a mere ring aboVe the 
surface, but it is very tortuous. Every twist of the serpent is of 
the same length, twenty-two feet between the points. The won- 
derful thing about this ring is that it brings out and conforms to 
the tortuous shape of the bluff on which it is situated. It re- 
minds us of the serpent ring which is so common in Mexico and 
is carved upon the walls of the gymnasium at Uxmal in Yucatan. 
It may be that here was a sacred place, either a dance circle or 
a sweat house or place of assembly. The circle is small, only 
about 60x100 feet in diameter. See Fig. 177. 

We have come to the conclusion that there is no serpent 
emblem which has not a relation to the shape of the ground, 
and that serpent worship among the Mound-builders was always 
connected with the animistic conception, a double serpent, one 
natural and the other artificial, shadow and substance, spirit and 
form, serpent divinity and serpent effigy\ 



VI. The embodiment of divinities in the emblems is to be 
mentioned here. The Dakotas had various divinities which 
they represented in pictographs. One of these is the anti-natu- 
ral god. This god seems to go by opposites. When it is cold 
he is very warm. When it is warm he is very cold. He would 
wrap himself up and his teeth would chatter when others were 
sweltering. When others were nearly freezing he would throw 
everything off as if he was in danger of suffocation. This god 
is represented as having only one leg, but always with two hands 
and arms. Sometimes the arms are extended out and have 
lines dropping from them like rain-drops. Sometimes he has a 
bow and seems to be shooting birds and toads from it. Figs. 178- 
179. Sometimes his hands are down near his sides, but open as if 
presenting or receiving gifts. Now we imagine that we have 

Fig. 17S. — Heyoka as a Rain-God. 

Pig. 179.— Heyoka as a Hunter. 

discovered the effigy of Heyoka, the anti-natural god of the 
Dakotas among the emblems. We discovered at one time an 
emblem of a man which in shape resembles that of Heyoka. 
This emblem had but one leg when we saw it ; but its arms 
were very plain and its head was distinct. It had the same atti • 
tude which the anti-natural God always has, and in this respect 
differs from most of the human emblems which we have discov- 
ered. It may be, however, that the man mounds were, many of 
them, the divinities, and that the different shapes and attitudes 
represented the different offices of these divinities. 

The same divinity is frequently represented by the Dakotas as 
having two heads or faces like the Janus of ancient mythology. He 
is represented as a tall and slender man. Mr. W. H. Canfield 
has sent us the diagram of a mound drawn to a scale of inches, 
which represents a tall and slender man with two faces, resem- 
bling very much the pictographs of Heyoka. This mound was 
found in Sauk County, near Baraboo. Fig. 180. Mr. S. Tay- 
lor has described in 1837 a mound with two heads which he saw 


:i I 

near Muscoda, on the Wisconsin river. Now Heyoka is a per- 
fect paradox. He groans when he is full of joy. He laughs 

Fig. 180, — Man Mound near Baraboo. 

when he is distressed and differs from every one else. It is said 
that the Heyoka keeps a zoological garden; among his animals 
are deer, elk and buffalo. He hurls meteors and uses the light- 
It is a conjecture worthy of atten- 

ning to kill his game with 


tion that the man mounds which are so frequdntly seen in the 
midst of animal mounds embodied this same conception. 
■ Dr. Lapham was accustomed to recognize everywhere human 
emblems. Almost every bird that had straight wings he calls 
man mounds. This is to be said in his defense. The Dakotas 
sometimes represented the thunder-bird in such way that if you 
looked at it in a certain direction it would seem like a bird, but 
from another direction it looked like a man. It may be that 
the thunder-bird was embodied in the mounds, and that in some 
cases there was a mingling of the bird shape and the human 

This confounding bird emblems with man mounds at least is 
significant. The thunder-bird and the anti-natural God both 
represented the nature powers, and it may be that the blending 
of the two was designed to show the double capacity. 

We can say this at least of the man mounds, that some of 
them have a very peculiar shape, and we have no other way of 
explainingthem than that they represent nature powers. Were this 
the case we should say toat the man with the wide arms in the 
cut before us was intended to represent the rain-god, and yet 
there aae other man mounds which represent the man as walk- 
ing, with his hands hanging at the sides, and so we are at a loss 

We can say this at least. The coincidences are very remark- 
able. We have come nearer to the solution of the problem 
about the effigy-builders by the myths and the mounds than we 
expected; and yet there are so manypoints on which imagination 
can mislead us that we leave the subject as still doubtful. 








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The problem as to who the effigy-builders were and for what 
purpose they were built has now been before us through several 
chapters. We seem to be approaching a solution of it. There 
remain, however, a few factors which must be brought in and 
considered attentively before we reach the solution. These 
factors, strangely enough, seem to connect themselves with the 
maps. There are three points brought before us by the m.aps ; each 
of which seem to teach the same lesson. We have been consid- 
ering the question whether the Dakotas or any branch of them 
were the mound-builders. The study of the maps seems to nearly 
prove the case. At least the correspondence which is brought 
out b}'" this is very remarkable. We can hardly believe that this 
would be so great unless it were owing to a fact, for mere coin- 
cidences would not be so repeated in detail. 

The facts which we have in mind, and which seems so to 
confirm our theory are as follows : I. The migration of the 
Dakotas and the location of the effigy-mounds correspond re- 
markably on the ge neral map, the migrations having reached 
the several points where the effigies have been discovered. II. 
The pictorial representations which are supposed to have be- 
longed to the Dakotas and which are still found upon rocks 
which are in the track of these migrations, have striking resem- 
blances to the effigy-mounds in their varied shapes. III. The map 
of Wisconsin, the state in which the effigies are most numerous, 
gives us some remarkable suggestions as to the reasons for the 
locating of effigy-builders in the state, there being a striking 
correspondence between the topography ol the state and the 
different classes of mounds which are there found. IV. The 
map of each locality where effigies are found has some very im- 
portant lessons as to the reason for these particular effigies, as 
the location of the effigies reveals the very haunts of the ani- 
mals, as well as their habits. V. The last point is that which 


relates to the clans, the specific location of each clan being 
ascertained by an examination of a map of the mounds. 

I. The migrations of the Dakotas. There are two or three 
maps in existence which illustrate this point. One of them was 
prepared by Mr. Horatio Hale and published in the proceedings 
of the American Philosophical Society, designed to show the 
course and direction of the migrations of the Tutelos, a branch 
of the Dakotas, between the years 1671 and 1780. This map 
locates the Tutelos at the earliest date, on the east side of the 
Blue Ridge mountains, at the head waters of the Roanoke river, 
but traces the migration down into the borders of South Caro- 
lina, and northward through North Carolina, Virginia, Dela- 
ware, Pennsylvania, to the state of New York. Now the first 
location corresponds to a certain extent with the place where the 
stone bird emblems, described by Mr. C. C. Jones, were discovered. 
The name of the Cherokees is found on the map below that of 
the Tutelos and it is probable that the Cherokees and the Tute- 
los were associated ; that one or the other of these erected the 
effigies in Georgia. 

The second map is one prepared by Rev. J. O. Dorsey, and pub- 
lished in the Naturalist and afterwards in the Annual Report of 
the Bureau of Ethnology. This map traces the wanderings of the 
Dakotas after they reached the mouth of the Missouri river and 
locates the villages of the Omahas upon the Missouri, the Des 
Moines, the Kansas and Arkansas rivers, and at the same time 
shows the location of the lowas, Winnebagos. and other cognate 
tribes. According to this map the migration of the Dakotas 
■was trom the southeast to the northwest, but the migration of 
the Winnebagoes was from the southwest to the northeast, the 
different branches having separated at the mouth of the Missouri 
river, and passed up the different rivers to the habitat, in which 
they were located. 

A third map, which is still more interesting than either of the 
other two, is given by Mr. J. O. Dorsey, but borrowed from Mr. 
George Catlin ; this illustrates the traditional wanderings of the 
Mandans, a branch of the Dakotas from southern Ohio to the 
mouth of the Missouri river and up that river to its various 
branches. This map locates Mandan remains near Cincinnati, 
near Cairo in southern Illinois, and Mandan "villages" at various 
points on the Missouri river above St. Louis, and to the head- 
waters of that river "where they become extinct." This map cor- 
responds with the tradition that the ancestors of the Omahas, Pon- 
kas, Osages, Kansas, Winnebagoes and Pawnees dwelt east of the 
Mississippi; that they were their allies, not all in one region, and 
that their general course was westward. The map connects it- 
self with the emblems in this way: There are effigies in Ohio, the 
starting point; there are effigies in Wisconsin, the terminating 


point; and there are at various points in the line — on the Ohio, 
Mississippi and Missouri rivers — rock inscriptions, which show 
animal figures resembling those contained in the mounds, thus 
giving a hint as to the common use of these tigures among the 
Sioux or Dakotas in all their branches. There is another con- 
necting link: there is a tradition among the Iowa chiefs that the 
Omahas. Ponkas and lowas formed a part of the Winnebago 
nation, and that the lowas sang their mystic songs in the Win- 
nebago language. It is said also that a careful study of the lan- 
guages of the lowas, Omahas and Winnebagos show that they 
are very closely related. 

II, The pictorial representations furnish another point. It 
is very remarkable that there are various figures on the rocks in 
the region where the Dakotas have dwelt which correspond with 
the effigy-mounds. We shall here give a description of these. 

I. We first present the inscriptions found upon the rocks 
near Alton, the very place where the Dakotas are said to have 
made a long stop on their migratory journey. Some of these 
pictographs have been known to history for a long time. One 
of them was seen by Marquette and his fellow-voyagers when, 
they first took their journey down the Mississippi river. 

This filled the Indians accompanying him with a sense of awe; 
he therefore gave a particular and definite description of it in 
the report of his voyage. The pictograoh remained on the 
rocks until during the late war, when it is said to have been de- 
stroyed b}^ the gunboats who fired into it. The story told Mar- 
quette by the Indians, was "that a demon haunted the river at 
this place, whose roar could be heard a great distance, and who 
would engulf them in the abyss where he dwelt; that the 
waters were full of frightful monsters who would devour them 
in their canoe." This was the myth associated with the picto- 
graph. There are, however, various modern stories or ver- 
sions of the same storj^ which are now passing current, as if 
they were the native myths. Mr. William McAdams has gath- 
ered these stories into his volume upon "Ancient Races," and 
published them at length, as it they were genuine, with vari9us 
engravings as representations of the original pictograph; en- 
gravings taken from modern books which are of sensational 
character and of doubtful authority. 

We do not regard these as reliable accounts. Mr. Francis 
Parkman has a fac-simile of a map made a few years after 
Marquette's voyage decorated with the portrait of one of the 
animals drawn by Marquette. Mr. McAdams rejects this and 
uses a cut which was wrought by a German artist, and which 
appeared in a German publication, published in Dusseldorf in 
1839. It represents a sort of animal with wings and legs and 
horns, but with the human face. The face has a beard and 
looks very much hke a German face. All of these stories are 



mere inventions and do not deserve a place in any book. They 
will do for the gossip of the locality, as they are sensational and 
excite curiosity. See Fig. i8i. 

There is a story of the thunder-bird which formerly prevailed 
in this region. The story is that the thunder-bird would make 
his appearance before the rain in answer to the pra3'er of the 
rain-maker, but the story of the Winnebago medicine animal is 
more significant than this. It is possible that the figure was 
designed to be a representation of that animal, yet so many 
winged figures are being discovered in the mounds that we are 
doubtful even of this. The name Piasa has been given to the 
figure, but really has nothing to do with it. It belongs to the 

Fiff. ISl.—Rock Inscriptions near Alton. 

Fox Indians and has been only repeated by old settlers as com- 
ing from that tribe. It was the name of the father of the cele- 
brated Indian chief Black Hawk, and still remains as the name 
of a stream which flows into the Mississippi river near by. 

The myth of the bird and the medicine animal correspond 
well with Indian mythology, but the others nmst be regarded 
as a fabrication. There are rock inscriptions near Alton which 
are of value. Mr. McAdams has spoken of several. They 
represent birds mingled with human figures and between them 
certain symbolic figures, such as the circle with dots, and the 
circle and cross. The significance of these birds in the picto- 
graph is not understood; some would make them to be birds 
of the sun. Mrs. E. R. Emerson says "that the repetition of 


these bird figures reminds one of the chant of the Indians in 
which a single Hne is repeated with httle variation manv times." 
We now turn to ask the qnestion whether anything of this 
kind is found among the emblematic mounds. We would say 
that while we imagine the myths about the anti-natural god and 
other divinities to have been embodied in the effigies, yet so far 
as the medicine animal is concerned we have never found any- 
thing that corresponds to it. There is to be sure a granite 
boulder at Green Lake which has been split into two pieces 
and on the smooth face of one is an inscription which reminds 
us of Schoolcraft's figures. The inscription contains circles 
like a calendar and between the circles are canoes sailing, with 
Indians in them, and between the canoes are animals with bony 
spines and dragon heads and long tails. This was left here by 
an artist who undoubtedly amused himself in making these pic- 
tographs. There are, however, emblematic mounds which 
seem to have a mythologic significance. 

Fig. 182.— Composite Mound near the Wisconsin River. 

The composite mound described bj' S. Taylor contains the 
head and body ot a man, the wings of a bird, the horns of an elk 
orldeer, the tail ot a fur-bearing animal, all the different classes be- 
ing represented in one, man, beast, bird, grazing animal, fur- 
bearing animal. Fig 182. Dr. Lapham has spoken of the com- 
posite mounds near Horicon. Some of these seem to contain 
the head of a deer, the neck of an antelope, the body of a fish. 
We have seen composite mounds near Greenbush which we 
imagine contained the shapes of pipes in combination with the 
shape of an animal. The effigv on Lake Wingra which we 
have already described might be taken to be the effigy of a 
dragon, though it might represent a gigantic snail. This is an- 
other specimen. Composite mounds are somewhat common in 

Mr. W. H. Canfield has spoken of several at Baraboo. 
These are in the shape of the letter X or a pair of scissors the 
shape we have seen at Summit. The}' are associated with ani- 
mal effigies. The double ox-bow at Sheboygan is another 



specimen of symbolic figures. See Fig. 183. We refer to these 
cases, not because there is any great resemblance between them 
and the medicine animal, but because ihey are unusual figures 
and show ihe variety of conception wb.ich prevailed. 

2. The inscriptions found upon rocks in Dakota are worthy 
of study. These have been described by T. H. Lewis, and are 
associated by him with the thunder-bird's track. These inscrip- 
tions are upon boulders which are found upon the edge of the 
Public Park, in Brown's Valley, near the Minnesota river. The 
people called the boulder "The Sacred Rock," and the plateau 
they called "sacred." Indians of the region have no tradition 
of the boulder or its inscriptions. Twelve hundred feet to the 

Fig. 18S— Group of Effigies at Sheboygan. 

eastward of one these is an ancient enclosure, a fort of the mound- 
builders, containing about four acres, with the customary out- 
lying mound near by. Mr. T. H. Lewis interprets the figures 

as follows: 

Fig. I, the central figure represents a man ; Fig. 2, a bird; 
Fig. 3 a tortoise ; Fig. 4 a cross and circle ; Figs. 5,6, 7, either 
crosses or bird tracks; Figs. 8 and 9, nondescripts ; Fig. 10 and 
II, small dots or cups. Another boulder found in Roberts 
County, Dakota, contains similar figures. The interpretation of 
these is as follows : Figs, i and 2 are tortoises; Fig. 3, a bird 
track ; Fig. 4, a man ; Fig. 5, a nondescript ; Fig. 6, a headless 
bird, greatly resembling certain effigies in the regions to the 
southeast. Diagrams XIH and XIV. This boulder Is near what 
is called the "thunder-bird's track brother;" they are all figures 



which have a conventional shape and remind us of the effigy- 
mounds, though the resemblance between the man-shaped figure 
and the man-shaped mound is more striking than that found in any 
of the others. We can not fail to be impressed with this thought, 

as IrtcKes 


r* C«nt«n<«t»«' 

Diagram XIII. 

that the Dakotas on the Minnesota river had reached the same 
conventional style in representing their totems, that the Winne- 
cagoes attained in Wisconsin. These were evidently Dakota 
totems. The tradition is "that there used to be a spirit that 
marked the boulders at night. It would work making a sound 
like hammering and occasionally emit a light similar to that of 
a fire-fly." 


3. A third fact confirmatory of the theory that the Winne- 
bagoes built the mounds is found in the customs of the Dakotas. 
Miss AHce Fletcher tells about the dances, feasts and religious 
ceremonies of the Dakotas. She says that "in many of their 
feasts they lay bare little spots of ground in the midst of their 
tent, and then place their pipes and robes and other symbols and 
sacred things near this ground, and then they burn sweet grass 
on the mellow spot, and sometimes lay gifts of various kinds, 
making them pass through the smoke of the sweet grass. In 
the case of the finding of a white buffalo they make a great feast 
and go, through very elaborate ceremonies, one part of which is 
to take tufts or stripes of the buffalo skin with the white hair 
upon it, planting these tufts in the plat of ground with great 
solemnity and care. In the feast of the Ghost Lodge, given by 

(, 19. ti TrvcHes 

|_— I I I } — I I i__,i I I — I— pi — I — I — I— ^ 

10 lo 3o 4o Cen+t wittj-et 

Diagram XIV. 

a father who has lost a child, they open the soil in the same 
way. They burn sweet grass upon it, and take locks of hair 
which have been cut off from the child's head and plant these 
in the soil. In the feast of the Elk Mystery, they open the 
ground by taking away the sod, place their pipes on four sides 
to represent the four quarters of the sky, and then burn the wild 
artemesia or sweet grass. A pole is set up before it. A sacred 
dish contains water and leaves. Pipes are passed through 
the smok2 and lit. Four young women dressed in green are 
seated near it. Four young men painted to represent the four 
colors of the clouds — white cloud, red cloud, blue cloud and 
yellow cloud — stand near the young women. But the whole 
ceremony concentrates and begins with the process of laying 
bare the ground and placmg upon it the coal of fire and burning 
the sweet incense upon the bare ground." 

This custom has a bearing upon the agriculture of the effigy- 




:.. 9 !■• 





»' t i k't- " -i -ir 




builders. It shows how sacred the soil was regarded by the 
natives. It shows also the superstition that they had about the 
*' Master of Life" haunting the soil and filling it with his spirit. 
It shows also the sacredness with which every symbol was re- 
garded, whether the symbol was in the relics, such as pipes, 
robes, tufts of grass and tufts of hair, or in the soil itself. It 
shows also the significance of the human form and of the motions 
of the human body, especially when they were imitative of an- 
imal figures. 

One thing is to be said about the combination of human and 
animal motions. The dances of the Indians were frequently 
conducted in such a way as to imitate the motion of the animals. 
Take the elk mystery, which we have before described. After 
the four girls which represented the four quarters of the sky 
took the four pipes in their hands and marched out of the sacred 
tent, they were followed by the four young men who were 
painted to represent the four clouds, but following them was a 
motley throng of men, old and young; all of them having 
masks and horns resembling elks. They marched along imitat- 
ing all the motions of the elk, sometimes running out and hiding 
as the elk would hide, and sometimes crouching and dropping 
their heads, and again lifting their heads high. The imitation 
was complete, and could be recognized by any one. This march 
continued for four hours, and the distance traversed was over 
seven miles. The elks came back again with their ornaments 
rattling like the hoofs of the elks. Catlin has described the 
buffalo dance, in which every dancer wore the head and horns of 
the buffalo on and imitated the motions of the buffalo. We have 
seen dances like this among the Winnebagoes ourselves. The 
steamboats would land at Green Bay. The Indians would gather 
on the wharf and dance. The passengers would throw money upon 
the wharf andthe buffalo's hop wouldbecome unusually lively. It 
was a burlesque, and yet some of the attitudes did resemble those 
of the buffalo. 

This habit of embodying animal life in human motion is not 
peculiar to the natives of America. There are dances among 
the Fijis in which the women will drape themselves in gauzy 
material and will imitate the motion of the waves as they break 
upon the shore, the motion of the dancers being very graceful, 
but having also a secondary significance. The imagination of 
the rude and uncivilized people seems to fix upon natural objects 
and make them expressive of a divinity. There are many 
places in this country where mythology has transformed a rock 
or an island or a river into the abode of a divinity. Rocks in 
New England which resemble the moose are said to be haunted 
by the Great Moose divinity. Rivers in Ohio which in their 
forks resemble the branching iiorns of the deer are named after 
the deer. The Illinois river, which in its sluggish and tortuous 


channel, resembles a serpent, is said to have been formed by a 
serpent divinity. The channel was dug out by his body and 
the stream follows the track of the serpent through the prairies. 
The island of Mackinaw is said to be haunted by a great turtle; 
the shape of the island giving rise to the myth. Some deny 
this and maintain that there is nothing in the shape of the island 
to give rise to the thought, and yet the tradition will linger 
about the various localities in the island. It is said that the 
Sugar Loaf rock is the abode of the god of the island. The 
early voyagers speak of the myth and tell about the Indians 
offering their tobacco to the turtle when they pass certain points 
of the island. 

III. The third point which we are to take up has regard to 
the location of the effigies in the State of Wisconsin. One point 
of inquiry will be why the effigies are so numerous here. An- 
other will be as to the resources of the state, whether they fur- 
nish a reason for the particular and specific locations of the 
effigies. A third inquiry is whether there is any reason for the 
specific animal shapes, whether there is any correspondence be- 
tween the effigies and the topography that would account for 
these shapes. Our argument, if stated, would be as follows: There 
are effigies in various parts of the country, in Georgia, in Ohio 
and Dakota, as well as in Wisconsin. There are also rock in- 
scriptions in several of these states which have some remarkable 
resemblances to the effigies. In studying the map in which the 
migrations of the Dakotas are laid down, we find that both the 
effigies and the pictographs are in localities where the Dakotas 
or some branch of that nation were once located. In Wisconsin 
there are very few pictographs, but many effigies. The substitu- 
tion of the effigies for pictographs and the increased develop- 
ment of the custom of imitating animal figures may have made 
this state a great picture gallery. The question is : Was there 
not something in the scenery or in the surroundings which 
favored this. 

We take up, then, the question, Why are the mounds so num- 
erous in Wisconsin? Is there anything in the situation, its 
topography, its scenery, its resources, or its soil or climate that 
would make it the home of the effigy-builders ? This is the main 

I. Our first point will be in regard to the situation of the 
state. The state is isolated and separated from all others, and 
when it became the abode of a people which had this peculiarity 
it would afford them the opportunity of developing it undis- 

It will be noticed that there is a water barrier on all sides of 
the state ; the Mississippi river separating it from the land to 
the west and the wde expanse of Lakes Michigan and Superior 


separating it from the land east and north. The state has the 
shape of a great peninsula which runs up from the prairie re- 
gion of the south through a belt in which prairie was inter- 
spered with timber, and then ends in the great pine forests which 
intervene between the Fox River and the south shore of Lake 
Superior. It is a region traversed by rivers and so remote from 
other states that any people who dwelt here would be compara- 
tively safe from intrusion. It was in fact at one time a refuge 
for the the various Indian tribes which had experienced defeat 
in other parts of the country. Allouez, when he first visited 
Wisconsin and the waters of Lake Superior and Marquette 
when he crossed the state by the way of the Fox and Wisconsin 
rivers found here various fragments of the Illinois and Miami 
Indians; such as the Mascoutens, Kickapoos, and others who 
had been driven hereby disturbances which had come upon their 
homes. The Sacs and Foxes. Pottowotamies and others were also 
refugees. It would appear that the Iroquois, who were the great 
scourge of the Algonquin tribes, had driven them into the wilds 
of Wisconsin, and so the villages of all these tribes were discov- 
ered here by the early explorers. It is unknown what tribe 
originally occupied the country, but the fact that the Dakotas 
were for so long a time the possessors of the soil just west of 
the river would render it possible that the Winnebagoes were 
the original occupants. 

How long this tribe had dwelt here is unknown but so far as 
any record goes it would seem as though they were both the 
earliest and the latest occupants. We have already intimated 
that the Winnebagoes may have been the mound -builders. It 
is very remarkable that the villages of the Winnebagoes were on 
the very spots where the effigies were most numerous. There 
are, to be sure, a few cases where the villages of the Pottowota- 
mies correspond to the villages of the effigy-builders; as for in- 
stance, at Waukesha and certain places near Milwaukee; but 
this was probably owing to the fact that the Pottowotamies here 
displaced the V/innebagoes> It is noticeable that the early 
maps, such as Farmer's, published in 1830, and Chandler's in 
182Q, locate Winnebago villages near where the effigies are now 
found and draw the trails between those villages, some of which 
are known to traverse the groups of effigies.* 

2. The permanence of the population may be given as a cause 
for the prevalence of mounds here rather than elsewhere. Tribes 
which are constantly roving are not likely to leave many traces of 
their occupation of the soil. On the other hand, tribes which 

*We have spoken of the distinction between tlie sites of Indian villages and the 
groups of effigies In a previous chapter. This remark will apply to the villages of 
the Sacs and Foxes, Pottawotamies, Mascoutens, but not to the Winnebagoes. The 
evidences are coming out more and more as the sites of the Winnebago villages are 
studied, that they were in the identical spots where effigies are now existing. To 
illustrate : General Long discovered Winnebago villages at the mouth of the Kish- 
waukee river; quite recently effigies have been discovered there. See Science, Sept.'88. 


have permanent homes are likely to increase the tokens of their 
life each year, and the more permanent they are the more tokens 
they will leave. There are localities in this state where the 
effigy-builders evidently had permanent residences; Aztalan is 
one of those places. Recent excavations have brought to light 
refuse heaps or kitchen-middens, which are of very considerable 
interest. These heaps were dug out of the so-called cellars or 
sink-holes which have been known to exist there. Rev. Mr. 
Somers says that he has found the bones of nearly all the wild 
animals which are represented in the effigies, and at the same 
time found pottery of a rude kind and human bones which were 
cut and broken in such a way as to indicate cannibalism. There 
are many other signs of permanent occupation at this place. The 
burnt clay which is found in the walls at Aztalan has been re- 
garded by some as a proof that there were stockades on the 
summit. The supposition is that these stockades were burned, 
and that the clay was burned with the timbers. It was evidently 
a superficial burning, for the interior of the wall is of earth, like 
other earth-works and mounds. The size of the platform mounds 
would indicate that permanent houses were erected here. Aztalan 
may be compared to some of the fortified villages in Tennessee, 
for it has the same projecting bastions in its walls and the same 
pyramidal platforms within its enclosure. The effigy-builders 
may also be compared, in other respects, to the people who built 
these forts and who left many specimens of art in the mounds. 
They seem to have had a remarkable skill in depicting animal 
figures. The same question arises in reference to both localities, 
Why are such specimens of art found in these particular localities 
rather than others ? Some might give a positive answer, and 
say that there was an affinity between the two races. Prof. 
Thomas says that the Cherokees were the people who built the 
forts in Ohio and who left their tokens in Tennessee ; others 
maintain that they were of the same stock as the Dakotas, who 
migrated to Minnesota and sent an offshoot into Wisconsin. On 
this point we shall express no opinion. The resemblance be- 
tween the walled towns and the art products may be a mere 
coincidence, still the further study of the two languages may 
prove this affinity. If such should be the case we shall accept 
this explanation of the emblems; and yet the isolation of this 
state would furnish a reason for these mounds being placed on the 
soil here. One answer might come for both districts. People 
were more permanent in these regions than in most other places. 

The point which we make is that the same habit of represent- 
ing animal divinities, which prevailed among the Cherokees and 
Dakotas, in common with all other tribes, was here expressed in 
a different way. Instead of engraving them upon shell or in- 
scribing them upon rock, this people built them on the soil, the 
permanence of their occupation giving them leisure to do so. 



There are but few inscribed rocks in Wisconsin. The pictured 
cave in West Salem furnishes about the only specimen. See 
Fig. 184. Still, if the people were to leave their totems in any 
permanent form they did wisely to mould them in the earth. 

3. The resources of the state as regards the means of subsist- 
ence are suggestive. The state of Wisconsin is peculiar in this 
respect. It contains a great variety of resources and many and 
varied products. These products have somewhat changed now 
that the prairies have been plowed up and the forests cut down 
and the artificial has taken the place of the natural conditions ; 
yet enough of the old resources are left to show what were 
the means of subsistence during the time of the mound-builders. 
By means of subsistence, we intend not only the vegetable pro- 
ducts, but the animal life, the mineral resources and other pecu- 
liarities. In reference to the cereals there were formerly many 

I^g. 1st,.— Figures in Pietured Cave at West Salem. 

kinds, some of which have continued. The swamps and marshes 
were evidently once filled with wild rice, and it seems probable 
that the mould-builders gathered this as well as the Indians 
after them. It is evident also that maize was formerly cultivated, 
in the state; the mound-builders having had large fields of it, 
some of which may still be seen near the mounds. 

In reference to berries and fruit there are certain parts of the 
state where cranberries, huckle-berries, and blueberries are very 
abundant. These are found mainly on the northwest side of 
the Wisconsin river on the Lemonweir. There are effigies in 
this region and it seems likely that the mound-builders gathered 
berries. Maple sugar is another product of the state. Maple 
trees are found in great abundance and sugar camps are com- 
mon even at the present day. There are evidences that the 
mound-builders were acquainted with the art of sugar-making. 
The study of the existence of effigies in the midst of sugar 
bushes is suggestive. We have found several groups so situated 
and have concluded that they marked the site of a sugar camp. 





Two or three such localities have been visited. In each case the 
mounds were somewhat remote from any lake or river and were 
even remote from any permanent village site, but the number of 
the mounds would show that there had been a prolonged encamp- 
ment. One group was situated three miles from Beaver Dam on 
land belonging to Mr. A. C. Drowne in the town of Oak Grove 
The group consists of foxes, wild geese and other animals ; the 
very animals which are represented at Horicon, ten miles eastc 
the spot. The mounds are now nearly obliterated, so that we can 
furnish no map of them. However, another very interesting 
group is situated near the Milwaukee River, some three miles 
east of West Bend. Mr. L. L. Sweet first described this group, 
but he imagined that it was a fortification and 20 he called the 
mounds war clubs. 

Our examination of the group proved that there was no fortifi- 
cation here. It is composed of fifty effigies, some twelve of them 
being squirrels ; four of them wolves; two of them coons with 
the heads joined together; two panthers; two wild cats, in 
very natural attitudes; two crosses; a very well defined lizard 
or turtle; a serpent effigy, five hundred feet in length, and 
twenty oblong and several conical mounds. The effigies are 
crowded close together, and apparently without any order in 
their arrangement. They cover something over ten acres of 
land. They are in the midst of a grove of sugar maples, and 
convey the idea that they were erected by a people who had 
made an encampment there, and who had an abundance of 
leisure and amused themselves in this way. The author has 
taken some pains to study out the mounds to see if there was 
any resemblance between them and the totems of the clans ad- 
joining. He has discovered that the squirrel eflRgy here resem- 
bled those on Lake Winnebago, west of this point. The coon 
effigy resembles those found at Sheboygan, to the east; the 
wolf effigy resembles those found at Milwaukee, to the south; 
but wild cats and crosses like these are not found anywhere else. 
It is possible that different clans made their encampments together 
at this place and erected their totems under the shadow of these 
grand old maple trees. The region is a favorable one, as there 
are swamps in the neighborhood which abound with wild ani- 
mals, small lakes in which fish are numerous, and it is in close 
proximity to the head-waters of three streams which flow in 
different directions. The clans which dwelt at the points before 
mentioned had only to pass in their canoes up the rivers to the 
head-waters to find themselves near together. There are several 
other groups in this immediate vicinity ; one a half a mile farther 
east, another three miles south on the opposite side of the Mil- 
waukee river. These groups have the squirrel and the wolf and 
wild geese as representing the effigies. See Fig. 183, also 158, 

We are not sure that this is a pictograph, but as the effigies 


here are so similar to those found at the mouths of the rivers 
whose sources were here, we conclude that members of the 
different clans met here and erected their clan emblems, and in 
a sense made the group a tribal record. What is singular, how- 
ever, is that the effigies in these districts correspond to the animals 
as well as to the clans. They were not all of them clan em- 
blems, but were representations of the animals which inhabited 
the regions. 

4. As to the products of the state there was a difference in 
different districts, each district having products peculiar to it- 
self. We may divide the state into five or six districts, each with 
its own peculiar mounds which correspond to the products, and 
especially the animal products or life. These districts are as fol- 
lows : I. That along the shore of Lake Michigan. This was a for- 
est region. 2. That along the Fox River of the south, where for- 
ests interspersed with prairie, forming what is called oak openings. 
3. That along the Rock River and its tributaries which flowed 
through the center of the state, mainly prairies. 4. That along 
the Wisconsin River, and between the Wisconsin and Missis- 
sippi, mainly pine barrens, having a sandy soil, which was 
partly covered with stunted pine and black oaks, with an occa- 
sional sand-stone butte, rising above the surface covered with 
tall pine trees, and then sinking away into cranberry swamps 
and small streams covered with a jungle of elder-berry and fir. 
This is the region of the cranberry. 5 . The southwest was a rocky 
region in which the dividing ridges were covered with prairies, 
but the coolies were filled with forest trees of different kinds. 
This is the region of the lead mines. Here the Niagara and 
Trenton limestone crops out and forms very precipitous bluffs 
between which the streams flow down in deep, narrow, tortuous 
channels, on either side of which the rocks rise suddenly. It 
is not so favorable for agriculture, and yet there are prairies on 
the highland which are rich and the valleys of the streams have 
a quick warm soil. For the native races this was as favorable a 
region as any. There was formerly here more variety of scenery 
than anywhere else. 

5. In reference to the minerals, there are evidences that the 
resources of the state in the line of lead and copper and pipe 
stone were known to the aborigines and to the mound-builders, 
and that they either gathered these from the mines themselves, 
or had an aboriginal trade by which they secured them. It is 
known that the Indians did gather lead or galena from the mines 
of the southwest, and that this galena became a matter of traffic 
with them. There was also a traffic in steatite. There are pipe 
stone quarries in the northern part of the state. Some of the 
mound-builders' pipes were made from these. The copper relics 
found in the mounds may have been secured by traffic or made 
up from nuggets of float-copper, many of which are found in all 



'•"^ V\ 



^.\ %? 

■■=s? >■> -'> 1 



, & '■& . s? i^f ;^ 

. t^ •;'■, 



parts of the state. These mineral products of the state were 
known to the Indians, and it seems probable that they were 
known also to the mound-builders, though so far as the pipes 
are concerned it is uncertain w^hether any of them were used by 
the mound-builders, as very few relics have been found in the 
mounds, and very few pipes of any kind have been discovered 
in the state. 

6. The location of the mounds will be understood from this 
review. We have in it a picture of the native life, with the 
scenery for its setting. The mounds are placed generally in 
localities where the means of subsistence are the most abund- 
ant, but we can generally determine the particular natural product 
which was sought for by the study of the effigies as related to 
the topography and natural scenery. There is scarcely a group 
of mounds which cannot be explained in this way. The'^map 
of the mounds should therefore be accompanied with the map 
of the country with the physical and the archoeolgical peculiarities 
of each locality fully marked, so that the relation of the one to 
the other can be understood. There is a remarkable correspond- 
ence between the mounds and the topography. We learn from 
them not only the spots where there were villages and game- 
drives, but also the places where there were temporary encamp- 
ments in sugar-bushes and near berry patches; we learn from 
them also not only where there were game-drives, but where the 
hunters watched for different kinds of animals, the animal indi- 
cating the game sought for and the character of the soil and 
scenery showing that it was the very place where that kind ot 
animals had its haunts. We find that they spent much time in 
hunting, and that they resorted to the lakes and rivers, and here 
adapted their mounds to a system in -hunting, and that they 
gathered from the swamps and wet places the wild rice, which 
grew so abundantly, and stored it away in caches, over which 
they placed mounds to protect it. We find also that they erected 
earth-walls along the edge of the swamps and bays and reedy 
lakes, and placed screens on these, from behind which they could 
shoot into the water-fowl which fed upon the wild rice. 

The author has discovered lines of long mounds near the 
water's edge at White Lake, near Lake Mills, and not far from 
these effigies and burial mounds, the situation of the long 
mounds being such as to indicate that they were used as screens. 
There is also a long wall west of the group on the asylum 
grounds, north side of Lake Mendota. There are also long 
mounds on the east side of Pewaukee Lake, and near them a 
circle as if for an encampment or sweat-house, while on the hill 
about a mile away are turtle mounds. The discovery of mink 
effigies accompanied by lizards on the banks of a swamp in 
Sauk county by W. H. Canfield, would indicate that the mound- 
builders hunted for mink and built effigies of the same, and used 



them as screens from behind which they could watch the mink 
intheirownhaunts. Fig. 195. The groupof fisheffigiesspokenof 
situated upon Delavan Lake, would indicate that the mound- 
builders made permanent camps on the banks of the lake and 
then placed the effigies of the fish there. These facts are sig- 
nificant, as they show the connection between the employment 
and the religious custom or superstition. 

There may, to be sure, at times come a little confusion into 
the mind from the presence of the clan emblems, as there are 
so many different kinds of animals imitated and these are so 
mingled with the emblems themselves. The study, however, of 
the locality will generally clear this up, as the topography will 
show whether it was a clan emblem or some animal which had 
its haunt in that particular place, was intended. 

The study of the map illustrates these points. The general 

'IF i I I I 1 1 1" " ■'* ■ " ■ ' 

gtyr^T"*^- '«^-?'^^-^^*^MlHTi>m»^irrir m ~'^.j 

Mg. 195. — Mink and Lizard near DeviVs Lake. 

map shows the location of the clans, but the map of each dis- 
trict will show the places where each clan carried out its own 
mode of life. It appears that each clan erected its mounds to 
assist them in gaining a subsistence, the religion of the mound- 
builders being mingled with their every-day employment, and 
being an essential aid to their sucess in gaining subsistence. 

We find that the people were partly agriculturists ; that they 
raised corn and surrounded their corn-fields by mounds ; that 
they had garden-beds, and at times surrounded their garden- 
beds by earth walls, on which were temporary fences. The study 
of the garden-beds is suggestive in this respect. These have been 
discovered in all parts of the state; at Indian fields near Mil- 
waukee, at two or three points near Maysville, at one point near 
Racine, at one point near Sextonville in Richland County, at 
several points near Baraboo in Sauk County. Of these last Mr. 
Canfield says : "They are situated back in the country away 
from the streams. Here they cover large plats of ground 
varying from ten to one hundred acres. In the large plats the 


beds are ranged in different rows, the paths following different 
directions, as if different families had their garden-beds together, 
but each family cultivated its own plat separately." Corn-fields 
are very numerous throughout the state; 'there is, however, 
some uncertainty about these, whether they are the work of the 
later Indians or of the effigy-builders. It is possible that both 
used the same fields; at least there are corn-fields at Lake Kosh- 
konong, at Waukesha, at Milwaukee, at the Dells on the Wis- 
consin River, at Mauston. and various other points, in the midst 
of which there are effigies, showing that the effigy-builders 
occupied the same ground. 

Here then we have our lesson. The effigy-builders were in 
the same condition with the majority of the northern tribes 
of Indians, including both the Dakotas and the Algonquins. 
The reason for assigning them to the Dakotas, or rather to the 
Winnebagoes, a branch of the Dakotas, is found in the fact 
that that powerful nation was situated just west of the region 
where the effigy-builders were located, and so wotild furnish pro- 
tection to them from that side, while there were natural barriers 
to protect them on all other sides. The evidence is almost con- 
clusive, and yet there is one more point which we shall consider 
before we close. 

IV. The study ot the local maps reveals to us not only the 
animals which were known to the effigy-builders, but also the 
haunts of these animals. We find from it that the animals were 
such as were common in the country at the time of the discov- 
ery, and were in fact the animals which the Indians hunted. 

I. The fauna of the state is very instructive in connection 
with the subject. One of the most significant facts about the 
animal mounds is that they correspond so closely to the animals 
that are found in the region, and that their location is so near 
the very haunts of the animals. This is the case with all of the 
animals though it is not true of all the effigies, for we draw the 
distinction between the clan effigy and the ordinary fmitative 
effigy. The correspondence holds good to the fur-bearing ani- 
mals, to the grazing animals, the beasts of prey, to the amphibi- 
ous creatures, to birds of different kinds, so that we ma}^ learn 
from the mounds themselves, not only about the habits of the 
animals, but about their resorts. In this way the mounds pre- 
sent us a remarkable picture of the animal life as it formerly ex- 
isted; they also present a picture of the life of the people who 
built the mounds, and show very clearly that they were trained 
hunters, hunters who knew all about the animals and knew all 
about the animals and knew the best places to hunt for them. 
Illustrations of this will be seen in the different mounds. We 
first take up the mounds of the fur-bearing animals, especially 
those which resort to swamps and low places. Mr. W. H. Can- 
field has described a group of mounds consisting of mink and 



lizards near Sauk City ; these were situated in the immediate 
vicinity ot a swamp or spring which was in all probability the 
resort of the mink. The same is true of a group in Summit. 
Dr. Lapham discovered here a turtle, fox and mink. We found 
them to be on the edge of a swamp once abounding with mink. 
We here call attention to the lizard effigy, which is associated 
with mink at Baraboo. It here has two heads or possibly the 
effigy may be intended to represent the lizard with the mouth 
open. The same animal is represented with three legs, in the 
group given above. The lizard is associated here with birds, 
possibly a plover or a wading bird, and with coons which are 
represented in various attitudes. It seems impossible to deter 
mine the clan effigy at Baraboo. There are here mink, coons- 
buffalo and bear, as well as bird ; and one seems to be about as 
prominent as another. This thing is noticeable, however, among 
the mounds, that the animals which are known to have fre- 
quented the region are represented by the mounds. This is a 
suggestive point. 

We give here the cut of an elk which was surveyed and 
platted by Mr. W. H. Canfield. It shows how accurately the 
effigy-builders were able to imitate the shape of this animal. 
The location of the mound shows that the effigy was placed on 
the very spot where the elk were accustomed to feed, and that 
effigy-builders were true to nature in every respect. Fig. i86. 
The same is, however, the case with other animals, and especially 

the panther. The 
author has discovered 
an effigy of the pan- 
ther near Madison, 
which not only repre- 
sented the shape and 
attitude of the animal 
but even represented 
the disposition o r 

Fig. m.-Elk in Sauk County.-Canfield. ^^^^^ ^j^^^, immense 

claws of the panther having been so portrayed that they became 
the most noticeable feature in this effigy. This effigy is one of 
several which were connected with the game-drive near the Cat- 
fish bridge. It represents the panther as eager for its prey and 
as ready to pounce upon the animals which were driven through 
the game-drive. 

It would seem as if the mound-builders were accustomed to use 
skins and fur robes, for there are many effigies of fur-bearing 
animals, such as the mink, panther, wolf, fox, weasel, beaver, 
otter, badger, wood-chuck, raccoon, skunk,bear, besides the wild 
deer, moose and elk, whose skins are valuable. These animals 
are found occasionally near where effigies were numerous at the 
time of the early settlement. The same is true of birds ; the 


effigies of prairie-chickens are found on the prairies, and those 
of the pigeons in the forests and openings. 

As to the correspondence between the clan emblems and the 
animals which were most abundant in the locality, a few words 
should be said. This correspondence has been noticed in sev- 
eral places. To illustrate: The turtle is the clan emblem at Be- 
loit. Turtles are very common there, so common that Turtle 
Creek and Turtle Township are named after them. The same is 
true in Eagle Township. The name, the prevailing effigy and 
the topography would show that it is a place where eagles form- 
erly abounded. At Big Bend and at West Bend there is the 
same correspondence, the region having been favorable for the 
panther in one place and the wolf in the other, both being in the 
midst of heavy forests. This would at first seem to work against 
the position that the effigies were clan emblems ; but as we 
further consider it we might ask why the particular emblems 
should be used rather than others. The prairie chicken, the 
duck, the wild goose, are just as common as the turtle, panther 
and wolf, but they never are made the prevailing emblem. At 
least they never exclude other figures. We have a hint here as 
to the origin of the clan names. It would seem as if the hab- 
itat had been named, as well as the clan, and that the clans had 
been named after they had reached their permanent location, and 
that the animals of the locality had given the name and the em- 
blem, the same custom prevailing in prehistoric times which is 
common in historic. 

2. We first take up the localities. Effigies are found in 
all parts of the state of Wisconsin ; but there are great differences 
between them, as they are mainly imitative of the animals which 
in all probability abounded in particular localities. What is 
more, they are situated near the very spots where these animals 
made their haunts. This correspondence between the mounds 
and the haunts of the animals is certainly worthy of notice. We 
have already said that the state was divided into five or six dis- 
tricts, each district having its own products or type of vegetation. 
But the correlation extends further than this. It is of course 
natural that animal life should be correlated to the vegetation; 
one class of animals would frequent the forests; another the 
prairies ; another the marshes ; another the barrens or openings, 
and still another the rocky regions where there are steep preci- 
pices and deep gorges; but that effigies should be so imitative 
of the habits of the animals that they should represent this fact 
is quite remarkable. It brings, however, an advantage to the 
zoologist as well as to the archaeologist. The fauna of the state 
has greatly changed since its settlement by the white man, but 
we have a book descriptive of the fauna as it existed in the pre- 
historic times. It is found on the soil. We see the images of 
animals and we find that those images correspond to those ani- 


mals which would very naturally resort to the particular region 
and become convinced that the book is correct in its record. 
The more we study the mounds the more we become convinced 
that they were true to life in all particulars, and that the shapes, 
attitudes, classification, habits and haunts can be learned from 
them. This might seem to conflict with what has been said 
about the mounds being clan emblems, but both may be true. 
They do represent clan emblems, but they also represent the 
animal life. The human life and animal life seems to have been 
closely associated, as they always are in the hunter state. Every- 
thing about the mound-builders proved them to have been hunt- 
ers. Mr. Horatio Hale says that the Dacotahs were great hunt- 
ers. Be that as it may, we are convinced that the mound-builders 
were that, at any rate. We propose to show the correspondence 
between. the mounds and the haunts of the animals. 

3. The grazing places are first to be considered. It appears 
that the state formerly abounded with elk, moose, caribou and 
buffalo. The point which we want to bring out is that the 
haunts of these particular animals are made known by the 
mounds. There is a wonderful correspondence between the 
habits of the different grazing animals and the location of the 
mounds. The buffalo graze upon prairies ; buffalo effigies are 
mainly found in prairie regions. The moose, on the other hand, 
frequents wild forests and rocky places, especially if there are 
lakes and rivers interspersed among the rocks and forests. It is 
remarkable that moose effigies are found in just such places ; they 
are never found on prairies, but are always confined to those parts 
cf the state where the high bluffs are broken by deep gulleys 
and where there are thick forests covering the steep hills and 
streams and deep gulleys amid the forest. The elk is, on the other 
hand, an animal which b' feeds upon the prairies and makes its 
resort in low places. Elk effigies are numerous in the western 
part of the state. It is singular that the game-drives which have 
elk effigies in connection with them are in just those places 
where elk would naturally roam. One such game-drive,* at 
Honey Creek, in Sauk County, has been described by Dr. Lap- 
ham. This was not an embankment placed there to guard the 
pass in the bluff, but it was a game-drive placed there to entrap 
the elk which might be driven down from the prairies toward 
the Wisconsin river. \Ve have visited the spot and found the 
look-outs from which the hunter could look over the prairie and 
watch the droves as they came down toward the river, and have 
traced the very road-ways or elevated graded lines along which 
the hunters would run to give notice of the approach of the 
game. Another game-drive formerly existed on the south side 
of the Wisconsin river. This is given in the cut taken from a 

♦See Lapham'.s Antiquities, Plates XLIII, XLIV, XLVII. by Dr. Lapham. 



drawing furnished by Mr, W. H. Canfield. There are effigies of elk 
in nearly all game-drives where elk were hunted. Most mounds 
are destitute of the branching horns ; they are built with a single 
protruberance to represent the horns, but in this case, described 
by Mr. Canfield, the horns are divided and even the branches 
are represented. See Fig. 187. The following are the places 

Fig. IS^. — Elk and Moose on Wisconsin River. 

where elk mounds have been discovered : On the Kickapoo river, 
sec. 6, T. 8, R. 5 ; two groups on the Wisconsin river, sec. 5, T, 
10, R. 7; near Honey Creek Mills, T. 9, R. 6 ; near Kingston, 
Sees. 9 and 16. T. 10, R. 6; also Sec. 28, T. 8, R. 7, Sec. 2, T. 
8, R. 4. 

The moose is an animal which has peculiar habits. We have 
found several effigies of the moose, one in the neighborhood of 
the elephant mound, and have traced out the various game- 

Fig, ISS.—Map of Works on (he Bluffs above the Elephant Effigy. 

drives which were erected for the hunting of the moose. These 
consist of long lines of elevated walls or run-ways intermingled 
with the mounds of the bear, which was the clan emblem of the 
region, also with mounds of the caribou and the buffalo. Thesa 
lines run along the summit of the narrow bluffs for miles; they 



are broken at times by intervals, but they generally begin at 
lookouts and end with lookouts, and show that they were de- 
signed for the use of hunters. We think the so-called elephant 
mound was nothing but a mound of a gigantic moose or possi- 
bly of an elk. We have found that there was a relation between 

the mounds on the 
bluff and those 
groups on the bot- 
tom lands, and our 
explanation is that 
the animals were 
driven through the 
coolies down to the 
bottom lands and 
between the parallel 
mounds on the bot- 
tom land toward the 
the river. We pre- 
sent two maps to illustrate this point. One shows the mounds 
on the bluffs and the other mounds on the bottom lands. See 
Figs. 1 88 and 189. We present also the cut of a moose on the 
bluff, three miles north of the elephant. See Fig. 190; also Fig. 
188, Sec. 32. 


^g. 189. — Groups Adjoining so-called Elephant Effigy. 

Fig. 190. 
Moose near Wyalusing. 

Fig. 191. — Mastodon or Coon* 

The effigy which is seen in the cut Fig. 191 was discovered by 
the author while exploring the elephant effigy. It was at first 
taken for a mastodon, but by simply reversing the figure it was 
easily seen that the figure was that of some other animal, prob- 
ably a coon, though the tail does resem- 
ble the tusk of the mastodon. This 
shows how easily one can be mistaken, 
especially if he has a theory to carry out. 

There are other grazing animals be- 
sides the moose and the elk, namely, the \ * / ^'"--L.-'^ \ \ >* 
deer, antelope and buffalo. These are 
more migratory in their habits, and the 
result is that the mounds are more wide- ^a- io2.-m,ffaio at Beioit. 

spread. We have discovered the effigies of the buffalo at Beloit 
(see Fig. 192), at Merrill's Springs, near Madison (Fig. 193), 
and at certain points in Grant county (see Fig. 183); they 
were all near prairies and at the same time were associated with 



buffalo game-drives. We have discovered also deer effigies; 
two at Green Lake, one associated with the squirrel, which is 
the clan emblem, and the 
other associated with two 
bear effigies (see Fig. 194); 
both of these represent the 
attitude, the fleetness, even 
the timidity of the deer. An- 
other deer emblem was found 
in Eagle township, evident- 
ly in the midst of a game- 
drive. Fig. 195. Near this 
was the eagle whose wings 
were so much extended, and 
a little further away was the ^'(^- io3.-m,ffaio at Memivs Springs. 
group of eagles which may have been designed for a sort of corral 
where the animals were watched as they were grazing. The 


Fig. 101,.— A Deer CImsed by Bear 

deer effigies are generally found in the open places in the forests 
or beside streams and in rocky places, in the very localities where 

Fig. lV5.--Deer in Eagle Township. 

deer have their run-ways. The deer is generally represented as 



running near water, either as just emerging from the water, or 
running toward the water or alongside of the water. In most 
cases the trap or game-drive is on the bank which the deer ap- 
proaches. See Fig. 196. 

4. The location of the game-drives can be ascertained from 
a study of the maps, The game-drives were not all in parallels; 

,they were sometimes made by placing 
f^ the effigies at an angle, either with their 
heads together or their tails together, 
as is the case at Milwaukee. See Ficr. 
158. They are frequently made with 
single lines of long mounds and round 
Mg. m.—Deernear Muscoda. mounds, with a lookout at some point 
near by, as is the case in the ancient works on the Wis- 
consin river, described by Dr. Lapham, Section 5, Town. 10, 
R. 7 E.; also on southeast quarter of Section 5, two distinct 
localities.* See Fig. 81. The game-drives were placed on the 
summit of the hills or at the gaps and openings between the 
bluffs, or along the side of the bluffs, near overhanging cliffs, or 


Fig. 197.— Mink and EUc at Stone Quarry, Madiaon. 

beside the streams and marshes, or on the narrow necks of land, 
between marshes or on the banks of the lakes, or in parallel lines 
running towards the lakes. They always show the habits of the 
animals ; they give to us the picture of scenes which were once 
familiar, which will never come back again. The elk, buffalo and 
deer were driven by hunters into the water and could be seen 
swimming across the lakes, and be shot by other hunters 

*For game-drives see Figs. 2, 3, 3J, 46. 56, 59, 81, 118, 119, 129, 137, 189, 150, 158, 172. 



as they would emerge from the water. They would run 
across the summit of high bluffs and would there be entrapped 
(see Fig. 197), or along by the side of the bluffs and would there 
be shot at by the hunters from the screens that were there pro- 
vided, or would pass down into their feeding-places and would 
again be in the midst of screens and ambushes. Everywhere 
throughout the country provisions were made for shooting into 
the unwary game, and it would seem as if there was a constant 
contest between the hunters and the animals, but that the hunters 
were very skillful in tracking out the haunts and runways of the 
animals and providing game-drives for them. The author has 
seen these game-drives in many places, but is not able to describe 
them all. One of them is situated on the east side of Lake Wau- 
besa ; others on the west side of Green Lake, and others on 
he Wisconsin river, Mr.W. H.Canfield has also described severatl 

J'^iff. 19S.— Wnd Geese near Cemetery, Madison— Feet. 

groups of long mounds situated in Sauk County, One of them 
onN. E.,S. E., Sec. 19, T. 9, R. 5 E., contains figures of eagles, 
bear, elk, foxes, as well as long mounds. Another situated on 
N. E , N. W. quarter of Sec. 14, T. 9, R. 5 E., consisting of long 
mounds without figures. Another group on Sees. 9 and 16, T. 
10, R. 6 E., in Sauk County, is composed of a row of figures and 
round mounds, consisting of mink, wading birds, eagles, elk and 
coons, near a marsh. This is a game-drive over 3,000 feet long. 
Mr. Moses Strong also speaks of one near Cassville which was 
two miles long. 

There is one thing to be said about the different kinds of 
game: The gajiie-drives were built differently for each kind. 
Those for the moose and elk are mainly elevated road-ways on 
the hills connected with the parallel walls in the bottom lands. 
Those for the deer are arranged along the banks of smaller 
streams and lakes ; and are sometimes so arranged that the deer 
can be shot at as they emerge Irom the water. The mounds are 
scattered along the edge of the water, so as to give as many shoot- 
ing places as possible. Game-drives for buffalo are on the banks of 
rivers near fords, and so arranged that the hunters could shoot 
into the herds as they passed down the banks. lUustra- 








tion of the first class can be found in Grant 
county; of the second at Mill's Woods and 
the Catfish; of the third at Beloit and at 
Indian Ford. (See Figs. 36, 46, 56, 81,1 18, 
119, 120, 199, 200, 201; also Diagrams V, 
XVI, and XVII.) There are occasionally 
groups of mounds on the banks of lakes, 
the object of which is unknown. It is 
probable, however, if we understood the 
habits of the animals we should understand 
the reasons for the location of them. To 
illustrate, on the north shore of Lake Men- 
dota, we find a long series of emblems, 
consisting of panthers, eagles, foxes and 
other animals. These are arranged on the 
side of the hill which slopes toward the 
water, but have passage-ways between 
them. It is possible that they were de- 
signed as screens from behind which hunt- 
ers could shoot into the animals as they 
came up out of the water. It is noticeable 
in this case that the prey-gods, such as the 
eagle, hawk, panther, wolf and fox, are 
placed on this side of the lake, while the 
buffalo emblems are on the other side. See 
map of works on Asylum grounds. Dia- 
gram XVIII. 

5. The study of the map with regard to 
the haunts of the birds is instructive. There 
are certain birds whose effigies are every- 
where found. These are the wild goose, 
the hawk, the pigeon, the eagle and duck. 
The following are the places where we have 
seen the wild goose: On the Milwaukee 
river at two places, Milwaukee and West 
Bend. On the Rock river at several places, 
at Lake Koshkonong, Horicon lake, on 
Green lake, in the Four Lake region. One 
group at Madison has two wild geese and 
two wolves; this is situated near the cem- 
etery. See Fig. 198. The pigeon is seen at 
Madison and Mauston, where it is probably 
the clan emblem, and at many other places. 
These are all birds which have migratory 
habits ; there are certain other birds which 
are more limited in their range, namely the 
loon, swan, crane, plover, and heron. There 
are few emblems of the swan ; there is 



one near Summit, and another one in Sauk County. Mr. W. H. 
Canfield has represented a group in which there are several 
mounds of birds associated with raccoons : these were probably 
wading birds, as they were represented with one leg and long 
necks. See Figs. 199, 200 and 201. The coons were in a very 
natural attitude. This has been referred to above. 

I'ii/. MO. — Coon near Kingslon. 

^6. There is another point to be taken up in this connection. 
The peculiar disposition of the animals whether shy or bold, 
gregarious or solitary, is brought out by the mounds, the lo- 
cation being as significant as the mound itself The following 
are the animals which are timid, and whose timidity is shown by 

Fig. 201. — Trap for Game near Baraboo. 

the mounds : The rabbit or hare, the antelope, the beavers. 
Effigies of the rabbit may be seen, one on Lake Wingraand an- 
other on Fox Lake. See Fig. 202. Effigies of the antelope 
may be seen at Lake Horicon, at Lake Waubesha, (see 
Diagram 5, No. 3,) and at Mayville. The animals, on the 






other hand, which are bolder and more 
likely to prowl about for their prey are 
the wolf, the panther, the bear and the 
fox. The habits of all these animals are 
shown. The fox is a cunning animal. 
Effigies of the fox are frequently seen 
with the head turned around, running. 
We have seen one on the south bank of 
Lake Puckaway. Dr. Lapham discovered 
one near Fox lake, W. H. Canfield one in 
Sauk County. Fig. 203. The brush of 
the fox is notable. The mounds frequent- 
ly show this peculiarity. Rev. A. A. 
Young has furnished us the drawing of 
two foxes at New Lisbon (see Diagram 
XVI). This 
was a game- Jy^^ 22 
drive. It 
shows the 
mec h anical 
and supersti- 
tions of the 
effigy -build- 
ers in a very 


Fiff. 202.—Iiabbif at Fox Lake. 

The habits of the animals as re- 
congregating together or being 
solitary are also shoAvn by the mounds. 
Sometimes the animals are represented 
in pairs, the pairs being probably mates. 
This is also in imitation of the habits of 
The peculiarity of the map is that the place for mating 

animals ^ 

is indicated as well as the animals which were likely to mate 




have, for instance, on the south shore of Lake Monona a pair of 
panthers, male and female. The figures are on a wooded hill 
overlooking the lake. See Fig. yy. Two other panthers are 
seen at Ripley Lake. These were not mates, but a mate is a little 

Mg. 203.— Fox and Man Mound at Baraboo. 

distance off; and they seem to be in conflict, while the mate 
stands a little distance off alone. See Fig. 26. Two panthers 
in conflict may be seen at Beloit, but the mate is lacking from 
the group. See Fig. 160. Buftalos which are mates are seen in 
effigies at several places, at Beloit, at Green Lake, (see Fig. 176) 


Fig. 20!t.— Wolf at Waukesha. 

and at Lake Monona. See Fig. 167. Wolves which are mates 
are also seen at the following places : At Waukesha (see Fig. 
204) and Lake Ripley. Ordinarily wolves are either in droves, 
as at West Bend (see Fig. 205), or are mingled with other 
animals; occasionally, however, the wolf is solitary, as at Hazen's 

Fig. 205.— Wolf at West Send. 

Fig. 206.— Bear at 
Hazen's Corners. 

Corners, in Crawford County. The bear is sometimes seen alone, 
but is ottener in pairs. There are two bears at Hazen's Corners. 
See Fig. 206. There are also two bears on the Glenn place, in 
Grant County. Diagrams i and 2, At Blue Mounds theare are 
also two bears. Fig. 34. In this same locality there are two 
foxes or wolves, probably mates. Fig. 1 1. Near this place there 



IFigi. 207. — Skunk'near Horicon. 

is a row of figures of several animals, all of them alike; but it is 
uncertain whether they are bears, buffalos or wild-cats. Fig. 38. 
The elk is sometimes represented singly, as at the stone quarry 
near Madison. Fig. 197. It is oftener, however, seen in droves, 
as at Kickapoo river. Here there are three elk and four hawks, 
the elk being in droves and the hawks in flocks. Fig. 3. At 

Honey Creek, however, there 
are only two elk and two hawks 
Fig. 99. The squirrel is a very 
gregarious animal. Squirrels 
are very seldom seen alone; 
generally several figures ofthem 
are seen together. To illustrate: 
At Lake Winnebago there are 
twenty-five effigies situated on 
the summit of a bluff. Of these 
eleven are squirrels. At Green Lake there are thirty effigies, of 
which twelve are squirrels. At West Bend there are abont 
fifty effigies; some fifteen of them are squirrels. So in the group 
on the Wisconsin river. Sec. 5, T. 10, R. 7, there are six figures, 
one of them being an elk, two ofthem birds, two squirrels. The 
only places where the squirrel is seen alone is in the group near 
Wyalusing a«d in the small group near Neponauk club house, 
on the north side of Lake Puckaway. See Fig. 159. The differ- 
ence between the squirrel and the skunk can be ascertained by 
this circumstance. An effigy of the skunk was discovered by 
the author between Horicon and Mayville. Fig. 207. It is one of 
a group composed of a turtle and a 
wolf; situated on abeautiful knoll andjust 
covering the knoll. A flock of lambs 
were amusing themselves by following 
the tail of the skunk around and jump- 
ing off the knoll at the head. Another 
skunk was found near the cemetery at 
Aztalan. See Fig. 208. In both these 
cases the skunk was associated with 
turtles, but in a sense it was solitary, that 
is. without any other animal of the same 
kind. The coon is generally seen in 
droves, several of them being found in 
the same group. This is the case at Baraboo and Sheboygan 


^ fit 


Fig. MiK—Skxnk and Turtle 
at Aztalan. 

Fig. 200. 

As for the birds, they are generally represented according to 
their habits. The eagle being a solitary bird, is frequently seen 
alone ; and yet there are groups where two eagle effigies are seen 
together, as at Sec. 5 , T. 10, R. 7, (Fig. 209), and even five or six 
as at Honey Creek Mills, and at Waukesha. (Fig. 62); but the 
prairie chicken is always represented as in flocks. Fig. 83. Such 



is the case at least at Big Bend (see Fig. 139) and at Waukesha 
(Fig. 136). Pigeons generally fly in flocks. There are two 
groups at Mauston, in one of which there are four pigeons and 
one in which there are three. Turtles are frequently seen to- 
gether, either in pairs or in one group (see Fig. 210), but the 

Fiff. Z09.— Eagles near Honey Creek, Sec. 5, T. 10, H. 7.~Canfield. 

lizard, on the other hand, is always solitary. Such is the case 
at Koshkonong (Diagram 3), Sauk Prairie and Beloit (Fig. 86), 
and several other places. The beaver and muskrat are generally 
solitary, as is the moose, the she-wolf, and the musk-rat. Of the 
birds, the owl and the swan are solitary, but the duck and the 
wild geese are always gregarious. The frog is an animal we 
would suppose that would be represented as associated with other 
frogs, but it is an exception. Frog effigies are quite rare and 



Fig. 210.— Turtles at Beloit. 

Fig. 211.— Frog at Wisconsin River. 

are generally solitary. We give a figure of one from Wisconsin 
river; another can be seen at Beloit. 

Fig. 211, 

8. The study of the map with regard to the fishing grounds 
is suggestive. The effigies of the fish are somewhat common on 
the banks of the lakes, and they always show where the best 
fishing is and where the best kind of fish may be caught. To 



illustrate: Delavan lake is celebrated for the abundance of pick- 
erel. On the other hand, at Lake Koshkonong the pickerel is 
mingled with catfish, suckers, bass and other kinds. There are 
effigies of catfish on the east side of Lake Koshkonong. There 
is also another e^gy which we take to be a fish, thoug^h 
what kind it is impossible to tell. See 


212. There 



Fig. 212.— Fish on Fast Side of Lake Koshkonong. 

also a large group of fish effigies on the west side. The Four 
Lake region is celebrated for its fishing. There are several 
effigies of fish in this region. We give a cut of one on the east 
end of Lake Monona. Fig. 213. 

9. There is another point to which we would call attention, 
VIZ : The correspondence between the names of rivers, lakes and 
townships, to the animal effigies found in the vicinity. How is it 
to be accounted for ? Some might think that there was a naming 
of modern localities from the effigies ; but the fact is that there 
are very few places, only two or three in all the state, which are 
named from the mounds; these are Moundville and Nine Mound 
Prairie. A better explanation is that the names are taken from 
the abundance of certain animals in the region, and that these 
animals were following out the law which is very common in the 
animal kingdom ; they were the descendants of the animals 
which abounded during the time of the mound-builders, and 
which remained in the same haunts 
which these had occupied. There 
are a few cases where the name is 
taken from an Indian tribe; the 
Fox river taken from the Fox Indi- 
ans, Black Hawk's island from 
Black Hawk, the celebrated chief; but most of the animal 
names, such as Fox Lake, Swan Lake, Duck Lake, Turtle 
Creek, Bear Creek, Elk Lake, Wildcat, Otter and Wolf River, and 
other names like these were undoubtedly taken from the pres- 
ence of such animals during the time of the early settlements. 
It is a singular fact that some of these animals abound in the 
same localities, even at the present time. What is more, effigies 
of these animals are also found in the same region ; turtle effi- 
gies on Turtle creek. Fox effigies on Fox lake, duck effigies on 
Lake Wingra (or duck), eagle effigies in Eagle township. 

V. We now come to the most important point of all, the 
map of the clans. We have in previous papers discussed the 


Fig. 21,).— Fish at Lake Monona. 


question whether the clans could be recognized by the emblems 
and boundaries could be described or defined. We are now to take 
up the question whether the different clans can be located on the 
map. What we have said about the isolation of the state, its 
compactness, its resources and its fauna or former animal life, 
has only prepared the way for this subject. We are to study the 
emblems in their locations, and to see whether the map of the 
clans can be made out from them. We give here the location 
of the clans whiah we have identified, with the extent of the 
boundary of each and the emblem of the clan: The panther clan 
at Big Bend, and extending to Racine in one direction and to 
Burlington on the other: the raccoon clan at IMilwaukee, extend- 
ing to Sheboygan on the lake shore and West Bend on the Mil- 
waukee river; the squirrel clan at Green Lake, extending to Lake 
Winnebago on one side and Lake Puckaway on the other; the 
mink clan at Baraboo, extending to Moundville, in Columbia 
county, and into Dane county; the eagle clan at Eagle township, 
extending to the Delles of the Wisconsin on the northeast and 
into Dane county on the east, and into Sauk Prairie on the north, 
where it mingles with the mink clan ; the pigeon clan at Mauston, 
extending east and west along the Lemonweir river; the swallow 
clan at Prairie du Chien, extending into various parts of Crawford 
county ; the bear clan in Grant county, whose emblem was so 
frequently mingled with the buffalo; the bear clan near Blue 
mounds, extending from there to the Four Lake region ; the 
turtle clan at Beloit, with limits extending southward to Rock- 
ford and the mouth of the Kishwaukee river, where effigies of a 
turtle have been recently discovered. 

All these clans have been identified by the mounds and their 
boundaries to a certain extent traced out. The method of de- 
termining the name or emblem of the clan has been to visit all 
of the groups in the locality, to make a map of the region, and 
then count up the mounds of a particular class. Where one 
effigy seems to be predominant and all others are subordinate 
to it, it has seemed probable that this one was the clan totem. 
In order to make it certain, the ground is passed over again, and 
the purpose of each group is fixed upon so far as possible by 
the study of the topography. In many cases it has appeared 
that the same mound was placed around villages and near game- 
drives and as lookouts as well as burial places. In such cases it 
has been taken for granted that the name of the clan was deter- 
mined by the mound. 

These are clans which .seem to have been very extensive, as the 
effigy which indicates their name or totem is seen in many 
different places. As a general thing the extent of each clan is 
about the same, being equal to about two ordinary counties on 
the modern map; this would make the extent about fifty miles in 
length and from thirty to forty in breadth. 



The clan emblems have been identified with a certainty at the 
following places : At Beloit, at Green Lake, at Big Bend, at 
Eagle Township and at Prairie du Chien. The case is very 
plain. At the latter place the swallow is the clan emblem. It 
is everywhere present. It is present with the buffalo-drives, near 
bear effigies, and in connection with wolf effigies, but it so pre- 
ponderates that there is no mistake about it. We give a cut to 
illustrate the point. See Fig. 214. The following are the clans 
whose emblems have been partially identified, but concerning 
which there is some uncertainty: the bear or buffalo in Grant 
County; the panther in the Four Lake region ; the wolf or coon 
at Milwaukee; the wolf or squirrel at West Bend; the squirrel 
on Lake Winnebago. 

Fiff. 2 IJ,.— Swallows used as Clan Emblems at Prairie chi Chicn. 

It sometimes seems that there had been a removal of clans; 
those an the lake shore having been moved over to the Wiscon- 
sin river. This will account for the mingling of clan emblems. 
It will also be in accord with the history of the Winnebago 

In some cases the preponderance of the clan emblem is so 
striking that there can be no doubt, but in other cases the em- 
blems are mingled with other effigies, so as to make it somewhat 
difficult to determine which was the clan emblem and which was 
not. In such case the only way is to study the topography 
and the groups. In all of the cases that we have mentioned 
above the case is clear ; the emblem was so numerous as to prove 
the point. 

We seem to have reached a certainty in regard to some clans. 
There are, however, a few clans concerning which there is more 
uncertainty. They are clans which from their situation are less 
isolated and are more liable to have the emblems of the adjoin- 
ing clans intruded upon their territory. We have already 
spoken of one of these localities — West Bend, but there are 


several others. At West Bend we have recognized the emblems 
of three clans, those at Milwaukee, Sheboygan and Fond du Lac. 
Being situated upon the headwaters of the Milwaukee river and 
on the water-shed between the rivers that flow into Lake Mich- 
igan and those that flow into Lake Winnebago, it was easily 
reached, and so became a common camping ground or visiting 
place for the different clans. 

The same is true at Lake Horicon ; this was situated in the 
midst of several other lakes, Lake Winnebago to the north, 
Green lake to the northwest. Fox lake and Beaver Dam to the 
west, Pike lake to the east and Mud lake to the south. It was 
in the midst of the clans which had their residence on those 
lakes. It is a place favorable for hunting and fishing, and judg- 
ing from the number and variety of efiigies, it is the place where 
the different clans assembled and followed those pursuits together. 
The names of the clans which gathered here are unknown ; but 
we have in the groups which are found here the following efiigies 
as predominant: the squirrel, which is the clan emblem of the 
region to the north and northwest; the fox, which seems to have 
been the clan emblem of the region to the west, and the wild 
goose, which seemed to have been the emblem common in the 
region to the east. Of the clans actually resident here there 
is uncertainty, as the number and variety of the emblems are so 
great that it is impossible to tell which belonged to the occu- 
pants and which to the visitors. Dr. Laphamhas spoken of this 
region and of the large number of efiigies. He says that "the 
most extensive and varied groups and the most complicated and 
intricate works are at Horicon. There are about 200 ordinary 
round mounds in this neighborhood. There are sixteen mounds 
of the cruciform variety, like that of the mounds on the Milwau- 
kee river, wild goose : the animal form, fox, is repeated seven 
times; it may represent the otter." We have discovered in this 
region several other foxes and two or three wild geese. We dis- 
covered also several sqnirrels, and count on Dr. Lapham's plate 
four or five sqirrels. At Mayville, situated some four or five 
miles from Horicon, there are several more squirrels, two foxes, 
two wild geese. We conclude that this was a place where the 
clans gathered and mingled their emblems together. It shows 
that the clans were friendly and that they were accustomed to 
pass from one lake to another and were not excluded by the clan 
boundaries. See Diagram XVIII. 

There is the same uncertainty in regard to the clan resident 
at Madison, as this was a place where different clans assembled. 
That there was an overlapping of the emblems from other 
clans here will be shown from the map of Dane county, which 
is given herewith. On this map we shall find the groups at the 
following places, with the efiigies as follows : At Lake Kosh- 
onong on the east side, with the panther as the prevailing effigy 


A— Effigies at Honey Creek Mills, eagles. 

B-Game-drive at Honey Creek, panthers and crane. 

C— Group at Black Earth, eagle 

D— Effigies near Blue Mounds, bears and man mound. 

E— Effigies at Nine Mound Prairie, wolves. 

G— Effigies ten miles west of Madison, foxes. 

H— Group at Merrill's Spring, buffaloes, eagles, etc. 

T_GrouD at Cemetery, wolves and wild geese. . 

K-Efflgies on Asylum Grounds, panther, foxes, pigeons, sq.rrels, eagles. 

L— Effigv on Capit-il Ground, turtle. 

0~G;o±^It''LX^vfn^^^^ panthers, buflalo, wild geese, fox birds. 

pZorouratMnrs^^fods, turkeys, eagles, wild geese, pigeons, crawftsh, war 

* Q— Group on Lake Waubesha, east side, badger. „-ih „-»o=o 

S-Groun on Lake Waubesha, west side, beaver, antelope, wild geese. 
U-Group at Lake Ripley, wolves, panthers and turtles. 



a group on the northeast side, at Ripley lake, with the panther, 
wolf and serpent (Fig. 219); in the northwest corner two groups 
consisting mainly of mink effigies; on the west side near Black 
Earth several eagles ; in the southwest corner, on Nine Mound 
Prairie, three groups of bears and one of wolves. These mounds 
all show that the county* was overlapped by the clans situated 
in the adjoining counties, especially on the west side; by the 
bear clan at Blue Mounds, the eagle clan at Eagle Township, and 
the mink clan at Baraboo. 

The clan resident at Baraboo is also uncertain. Here we have 
a great variety of effigies, such a variety that we can only ac- 
count for it by the overlapping of clans, though there may have 
been a double clan here. See Figs. 215, 216 and 217. 

Mr. W. H. Canfield has surveyed the mounds here, and has 

Fig. 215.—Efflf/ie.'i near Manchester Mills, Baraboo, 

made a map of them. In examining this map we find some six 
or eight groups in the immediate vicinity of the city ; one of 
them consists of twenty-two effigies and sixty-five round mounds. 
This is situated north of the river, between the river and the fair 
ground. There are seven mink, two elk, three eagles, three 
panthers in this group. Another group south of the river, near 
the Manchester woolen mill ; this contained one mink, and sev- 
eral serpent mounds. Another group consisting of a man 
mound and several round mounds is situated south of the river 
near the public school. Another group situated south of the 
river, opposite the brick-yard, consists of two mink mounds, one 


There are 
of Madi- 
as) and 
at Lake 

of Madi 

Ri^^ley.'east^f MadiVonTFig^ffi)'." Tiiere'areTwo fox effigies at Madison (Fig. 12, Dia- 
gram XVIII) and two ten miles west of Madison (Fig. 11). There are two mmk 
effigies at Madison (Fig. 1!)7 and Oiagram XViri) and some htteen at Baraboo 
(Figs. 73,184;. There is one elk effigv at Madi-^on (Fig. 197), but on the Wisconsin 
river there are ten or twelve i Figs. 159, 180. There is only one deer effigy at Madison 
(Diagram V., No. 3); on the Wisconsin river several, one on Sec. 19,T. 9, K. 5; one at 
Eagle Township (Figs. 195 and 19(1). '1 here are four man mounds at Madison (1* igs. 
172, Diagram XVIII), but west of Malistm there are several, near Devil s l^aKe, bee. 
28, Tp. 10, R. 7 (Fig. 2;.'0); in Sauk County, Sec. 36, Tp. 13, R.3 E (Fig. 213 and 180), and 
also at iJaraboo. 



long serpent mound and several oblong. Another near the 

hub and spoke factory and saw-mill consists of two mink, one 

bear, one nondescript and seve ral long mounds. Mr. Canfield 

says there were mounds on the 

banks of Devil's Lake, on the 

east side. We have discovered 

others on the west side near the 

passenger depot, on both sides 

of the railroad. (See map of 

works at Baraboo). 

Mr. Canfield also speaks of a 
group of emblematic mounds 
in the township of Sumpter 

Fig. 216— Effigies at Baraboo, South Side. 

Sec. 9, Tp. lo, R. 6. This group contains six raccoons, three 
lizards,' lour birds, and two of the peculiar scissor-like figures. 

Mr. Canfield speaks also 
of a group on Sec. 36, 
Tp. 13 N.,R. 3E- This 
contains a man mound, 
a bird and a fox ; the fox 
mound is very long and 
large, being 30 rods long 
and 7 feet high. The 

Fig. 217. --Effigies at Baraboo, Brick Yard. man mOUnds in thlS 

vicinity are remarkable effigies. The one which was associated 
with the fox represents a man walking, with his hands raised; 
he seems to have a head-dress 
on. This mound is 220 feet 
long and sixty feet wide. An- 
other man mound has the 
same kind of a head-dress, 
but represents the man walk- 
ing, with his arms by his side. 
See Fig. 218. The one which 
we discovered in company 
with Prof Putnam had no 
head-dress, but its arms are 
by the side the same as the 
one last described. This man 
mound had but one leg, but 
the low^er part was in the 
street and was nearly obliter- 
ated, so that it is uncertain as 
to what shape it originally 
had. In summing up the whole 
number of mounds we find 
twelve mink, six coons, three ^''^- ~^^'— 1^«» -^^«""f« «< ^""'^ ^«^-^- 
eagles, three serpents, three man-mounds, three lizards and two 


/ '-^/^r 





This gives the preponderance to the mink the same as the 

different groups give the prepond- 
erance to the panther at Madison. 
We conclude that the mink was the 
clan totem in the region about Bar- 
aboo. In confirmation of this we 
would say Mr. Ira Buel has dis- 
covered a number of groups of 
effigies at Moundvillc and at Port 
Hope on both sides of the Fox 
river in Marquette County. Many 
of the mounds in this group, he in- 
forms us, are mink. Our explana- 
tion of this is that the mink clan 
which dwelt at Baraboo, extended 
across the Wisconsin river and 
found its boundaries somewhere on 
the Fox river, where it joined on to 
the habitat of the squirrel clan, 
which was located at Green Lake. 
We conclude, then, from this review 
of the mounds that the uncertainty 
in reference to the clan totems is 
not as great as was at first supposed. 
The more we study the subject the 
more thoroughly convinced have 
we become that the mound-builders 
5P- ™|i,,,i„ - were divided into clans, and that the 

iT & ||i;'l| ^ ^- primary use of the mounds was as 
A Rli''i'*^ ^' ^'^" emblems, the secondary use 

being designed to imitate the ani- 
mals which abounded in the re- 

An additional use, however, may 
be recognized in the fact that the 
effigies are so frequently found as- 
sociated with burial mounds. There 
are, to be sure, many burial mounds 
which have no effigies near them, 
but there are again other groups 
where the effigies are so placed as 
to form a guard or protection to 
the burials. We have discovered 
two groups at Lake Koshkonong, 
one on the east side (see Fig. 220), 
and one on the west side. See 
also effigies at Madison, at Bara- 
boo, and many other.places. There 



seemed to have been a great difference in the burial mounds, 
many of them having been built by modern tribes. Those which 
are guarded by effigies have proved to be more ancient than 
others, the bones generally being very much decayed and the 
relics being of an entirely different character. 

Dr. Cyrus Thomas has spoken of many mounds which con- 
tained modern relics, but anyone who has examined the location 
of these would easily see that they belonged to a different 
period from the effigies, nearly all of them being somewhat re- 
mote from effigies and in groups which had no relation to the 
clan emblems of the effigy-builders. 

Still another reason for supposing that the emblems were used 
as clan emblems is found in the location of the effigies around 
the council-houses and garden beds. We have discovered sev- 





Ml;,. ..i,„..,^..ii;//.,.)mj„ ^ ^||||.; ifli,, 






Mg. 220.— Burial Mounds Guarded by Effigies at Lake Koshkonong. 

eral such groups, one at Green lake, one at Lake Koshkonong. 
One at Mayville represents garden beds guarded by a serpent, and 
M r. W. C. Chapman has informed us about one near Merritt's Land- 
ing on the Fox river. Here was a group of effigies which surround- 
ed a circle with an area of about two acres. The effigies were so 
arranged in pairs that no one could enter the enclosure without 
passing between them, the whole length of each being made as 
a guard to the gateways or openings, and the entrances all being 
at an angle to the enclosure. This use of the effigies reminds 
us of the medicine tents of the Mandans described by Catlin, 
and seem to convey the idea that there was a kind of picture 
writing or symbolism in the effigies as well as a protection from 
the clan emblem. See Fig. 221. 

VL We next come to the question of tribes and the combi- 
nation of clans into one tribe. In examining the location of 
the emblematic mounds, especially as related to one another, we 
find that they were so intermingled that it is impossible to resist 
the impression that they were all the clans of one great tribe. 
The sa"me impression is also gained from the study of the to- 
pography of the state. The state is apparently divided, as we 



have said, into five or six districts, each of which is distinct so 
far as scenery and pecuHarities of soil and natural products are 
concerned. All of these districts are, however, so joined to- 
gether by the river system that it is impossible to separate them. 
There are four or five rivers which drain the state from different 
directions, namely, the Fox river to the north, the Rock river 
and the lesser Fox to the south, the Milwaukee river to the east, 
the Wisconsin river to the west; between these are smaller 
streams which intermingle their branches in such a way that 
there is scarcely any part of the state which is not brought into 
close connection with every other part by these water channels. 
I. The fact is plain, that under the circumstances it would be al- 
most impossible for different tribes to dwell together in the state, 
especially if they were hostile to one another. Even if they 
were at peace, it would be difficult for them to remain without 
clashing, inasmuch as the territory is so connected. But the re- 

Mg. 2Z1.— Garden Beds near Mayville Guarded by a Serpent Ridge. 

gion, which is so unfavorable for separate tribal life, is especially 
favorable to the clan life. Clans are always sure to have some 
central place where the common council is held, even if they 
have separate villages and council-houses. Clans are in reality 
but divisions of the tribe and are like kindred ; in fact they are 
akin to one another. Now we have the picture of tribal lite 
in the map of the mounds. The central council-house was 
at Aztalan, the celebrated ancient city. Around this, the 
clans are arranged, each with its own territory, and with its own 
separate council-house and permanent village site. There were 
trails which led from the separate villages to the central village; 
at least there were trails in modern days, and the probability is 
that the same trails existed in the earlier days. The water- 
courses are also channels by which the central city could be 
reached. The number of the mounds at this central point is 
not so great as at points east and west, and yet the very absence 



of any particular clan emblem at this point is in its favor. The 
residence of the clans seems to have been on the water- 
courses, but the rallying place was in the midst of them all, and 
yet perhaps in territory belonging to all rather than to any one. 

There were, to be sure, villages among the clans, several hav- 
ing already been identified, the situation and relative group- 
ing of the mounds proving that they were villages, but this en- 
closure at Aztalan differs from all the rest. We hardly believe 
that it was the village of an intruding people, but was probably 
the central capital for the tribe. The pyramids within the enclo- 
sure would prove that 
it was a sacred place 
as well as a place for 

2. Another reason 
for supposing that 
the clans all belonged 
to one tribe is found 
in the fact that there 
are so few provisions 
for defense in the 
state. This might be 
the case if the tribes 
belonged to a confed- 
eracy, but would be 
more likely to occur if 
they were the clans of 
one tribe. We have 
discovered but one 
battle field, that near 

There are a few so-called forts in the state. Dr. Lapham has spoken 
of one or two near Milwaukee, another near Kilbourn City on the 
Wisconsin river. Mr. W. H. Canfield has spoken of another one 
on the Wisconsin river, near Sauk Prairie. See Fig. 222. This 
seems to have had bastions and a stockade; was about 250 feet 
in diameter. Within the octagon was a pit, resembling a fallen- 
in well, and considerable pottery. All of these stockades or 
enclosures were on thoroughfares, a lake or a river, and we may 
suppose that they were defenses against the incursions of for- 
eign tribes. We do not deny but that the Mound-builders were 

Fig, 222. —Fort near Dellona, Sauk County. 

*The places where villaates have been identifled are as follows : The village of the 
panther clan at Big Bend (see Fig. 138), at Racine (Fig. IK), and at Indian Prairie, 
near Milwaukee (see page 141). The villages of the wolf clan at Waukesha (see Fig. 
136), at Indian Fields, north of Milwaukee (see Fig. 138) and possibly at West Bend. 
The village of the coon clan at Sheboygan. (See Fig. 183). The village of the turtle 
clan at Beloit. (See Fig. 164). The village of the squirrel clan at Green Lake, the 
east side. (Diag. VIII). The village of the mink clan at Baraboo (see Fig. 73); of 
the eagle clan at Eagle Township ; of the swallow clan, near Prairie du Chien. In 
two of these the council-house and dance-ground have been identifled. In all of 
them the emblem ascertained. We thus have the names of the clans, bnt we have 
no central place for the gathering of the tribe except this at Aztalan. 



warriors as well as hunters. Proofs of this are seen in the 
mounds themselves. There are emblems in the shape of war- 
clubs, one at Mayville, (see Fig. 223); one at Lake Monona, see 
Fig. 224; one at Fox Lake, (see Fig. 225). Still this does not 
prove them to have been at war with one another. 

3. Another reason is found in the fact that there are look-out 
mounds which connect the clans. We have noticed that the 

Fig. 223— War Club. 

location of very many of the mounds is such as to command 
the very best view possible. Sometimes this view is a distant 
one, showing that the mounds were used as beacons. Fires 
were probably lighted upon them, and the columns of smoke 
ascending would prove as a signal to those who were at a dis- 
tance. Mr. J. O. Bryan, ot Marquette, Green Lake County, in- 
forms us that there are signal mounds on the south shore of 
Lake Puckaway, and that lights upon them could be seen from 
Green Lake, some nine miles to the east and from a point near 
Princeton, northeast, and from Observatory Hill, some twelve 
miles southwest. It is probable that the clan which dwelt here 
was able by this means to communicate with the elan which 
dwelt to the west and whose headquarters were on the Wiscon- 
sin river near Baraboo. The author has discovered that there 
were signal stations along the Wisconsin river and from the 
Wisconsin river up the various tributaries, to the water-shed, or 
highlands, near the Blue Mounds. In one place, near Rudolph's 
Mills, in P^agle township, the mounds were on a very highbutte 

Mg.221,.— War Club at Monona. 

Fig. 225.— War Club at Fox Lake. 

and commanded a view down the river for many miles. In Fond 
du Lac County there are also mounds which form a continuous 
line of signals which extends from the neighborhood of Fon du 
Lac across the country, sonthward, and connecting with the 
head waters of the Rock river; also up the various streams 
eastward and there connecting with the head waters of the 
Manitovyoc and Sheboygan rivers. 

By studying the map we find several systems of lookouts. One 


passes down the Wisconsin river and so on to the Mississippi 
river; and another system passes down the Manitowoc, Sheboy- 
gan and Milwaukee rivers, and so reaches the banks of Lake 
Michigan ; another one passes down the Fox river and reaches 
the shore of Green bay ; still another passes down the Rock 
river with its tributaries, and connects the lakes of Wisconsin 
with the prairies of Illinois. Between these different systems 
there are, however, connecting links; the lookouts at Lake 
Puckaway and Green lake corresponding with others on Lake 
Winnebago, those on Lake Winnebago corresponding with those 
on the rivers to the east and the Rock river to the south. There 
is a complete net-work of rivers throughout the state. The 
water-sheds are all of them very narrow. In the early settlement 
of the country it was easy to carry across these water-sheds, and 
so there was a continuous canoe navigation throughout the whole 
state, every part of the state being easily reached by a canoe. 
The lookouts were along the borders of these streams.* 

Our conclusion is that the efifigy-builders were not only a 
peaceable people permanently residing within the state of Wis- 
consin, but that they belonged to one single tribe which was di- 
vided into several clans, each clan having its own fixed bounds 
and limited territory. They probably erected the effigies first 
as clan emblems, thus designating the territory which each clan 
occupied. Second, their superstition led them to place the effi- 
gies around their villages near the burial places, and connection 
with their game-drives, as safety, protection, and hunting were 
supposed to be dependent upon the divinities which were repre- 
sented by them. Third, the imitation of the animals which 
formerly abounded in the state is exhibited in the effigies, though 
the reason for this imitation is not manifest. 

As to the date in which the effigies were erected, we still re- 
main uncertain, but it was probably before the advent of the 
white man, and yet, after the present fauna and flora were intro- 
duced as no extinct animals have been identified. The people 
who erected them may have been the Winnebagoes, and yet this 
remains uncertain. Whatever the time and by what people they 
were erected does not matter so much, for they are the tokens 
of a singular religious cult, which has so far disappeared that 
we can scarcely ascertain its true nature. They are relics of art 
which should be preserved and the monuments of people which 
have disappeared. 

*See History of Fond du Lac County, page 327; History of Rock County, page 323 ; 
also History of Dodge and other counties in the state. 




One of the most interesting questions in connection with the 
effii?y mounds is the one which concerns their origin. There 
are two theories in reference to this. First, that they were the 
embodiment of the totem system of some wild tribe of hunters, 
and that they were altogether of native origin, purely aboriginal. 
The second is, that there is embodied in them a system of serpent 
worship which was introduced from some other continent, but 
which became mingled with the native totem system, and was 
here placed in permanent earth form, the two systems — the 
native and the foreign — being closely associated. The latter is. 
the opinion which has been reached by the writer, after close in- 
vestigation and long hesitation. The present paper is designed 
to show the reasons for adopting this conclusion. Let us, how- 
ever, be understood. We have held all along that the Winne- 
bagoes, abranch of the Dakotas, may haveb'een the effigy builders. 
We still hold this opinion, but the Winnebagoes, or Dakotas, as 
a whole, seem to have possessed traditions and symbols which 
would indicate that a system which was foreign to this country 
generally was held by them and carried with them in all their 
migrations. This system was v^ery common in Europe at an 
early day. and has left the impress of itself upon very many of 
the monuments there. To some it would seem to be a system 
which was peculiar to the Indo-European race, and was identical 
with what is called the Druidic faith, belonging to the Celts, 
who were a purely historic race. To others, however, it seems 
to be a system which was older than the Celts, and is regarded 
as a gift of the prehistoric times to the historic, the chief em- 
bodiment being in those works which have been ascribed to the 
Druids, but the origin of which is still very uncertain. We put 
the two systems together. The effigy mounds in Ohio and Wis- 
consin are prehistoric. They have no evidence of contact with 
what are called historic races, certainly not with any races which 
were familiar with the Christian system, for there are no sjm- 
bols of Christianity in them. If the symbolism which is 
embodied in them was in any sense historic, it was introduced 
before the time of Christianity. It is the same system which 
would be called native, whether found in Wisconsin, Ohio, Great 
Britian, France, , Scandinavia, Hindostan, or any other part of 


the globe. This is an important conclusion, for it carries back 
the age of some of the Mound-builders much farther than some 
are prepared to admit, and at the same time it accounts for many- 
things which have been regarded as mysterious, and as difficult 
of explanation. The discussion of the subject will follow the 
h"ne of a comparison between the works of Ohio, Wisconsin, 
Dakota and other states, bringing in, however, frequent refer- 
ence to the symbolism of Great Britain, especially that symbol- 
ism which connects itself with serpent worship. 

I. First we shall refer to the traditions. It is well known that 
Catlin, the celebrated painter, maintained that the Mandans, who 
were a branch of the Dakotas, originally were located in Ohio, 
the very region in which the great serpent is found, but that 
they migrated from that region, passing down the Ohio River 
and up the Missouri, and that they became nearly extinct by the 
time they reached the head waters of the Missouri. He has 
given the map, with the route of the migration laid down on it, 
and the various stopping places designated. He states that he 
also visited certain deserted village sites, and that he was able 
thus to trace back their route toward St. Louis by the village 
sites, and especially by the depressions in the soil which had 
been made by their lodges, the Mandans always having a custom 
of excavating the soil to the depth of about two feet before 
they erected their earth huts. These lodge circles, or excava- 
tions, have also been recognized among the effigy mounds. The 
ancient city of Aztlan was found by Dr. Lapham to have con- 
tained many of them. He calls them cellars. Prof A. W.Will- 
iamson asserts that there was a tradition among the Dakotas 
that their original home was upon the Ohio River, and he be- 
lieves that the ancestors of the Dakotas were the original 
Mound-builders of Ohio. Rev. A. L. Riggs concurred in this 
opinion. The date of this migration is not known, but it is sup- 
posed to have been before the advent of the white man. Rev. 
Mr. Williamson and Mr. Riggs both state that there was a tra- 
dition among the people that they came from the far east, and 
were familiar with the sea; and Catlin claims that the Mandans 
not only came from the east, but that they were originally from 
beyond the sea, that they were the descendents of the former cele- 
brated band of white men which came to this country under the 
lead of Prince Madoc, the rejected Welsh prince, and refers to 
the white skin, peculiar form, and remarkable costumes of this 
people as proof This theory does not seem to have gained 
credence, and yet there is interest in it because of its leading 
one to consider the European origin of the Dakotas. 

If there are resemblances in the languages there are also re- 
semblances in the earth-works and effigies. We have already 
referred to the great system of works at Portsmouth, Ohio, and 
have shown that these resemble in their general shape the form 


of a serpent. This peculiarity is to be recognized in several 
places in this country, i. In the great serpent mound in Adams 
County, Ohio. 2. In the serpent of standing stones which has 
been described by several persons as existing in Dakota. 3. The 
various serpent effigies surmounting serpentine hills, namely, at 
Mayville, at Green Lake, at Madison, at Potosi, Wis. 4. A ser- 
pent effigy has been discovered in Adams County, Illinois, which 
shows this peculiarity. The bluff is tortuous and the effigy is 
about 1500 feet long, and is conformed to the shape of the bluff. 
5. The resemblance may be recognized in the boned aths of 
Dakota, the serpentine line in the bone path being seen herejand 
the eminences in the centre and at either end being also plainly 
intended. See Plate. Of course there is an inferiority in the 
later formed avenue, but this is what might be expected. It 
is the conception which we wonder at more than the execution. 
In this case the sun circle is lacking. There is no horse shoe 
to be recognized, and yet the serpent symbol seems to have con- 
tinued. A feature of this effigy was that the hill and the serpent 
had the same shape, the peculiar cult of serpent worship being 
embodied in the hill. 

One of the most remarkable prehistoric monuments in Amer- 
ica is the great serpent mound in Ohio. This mound was sur- 
veyed and described by the authors of "Ancient Monuments" 
as early as 1845. It has been frequently visited and described 
since then. The last survey was that made by Prof Putnam in 
the year 1889. His description was published in T/ie Century 
magazine for that year. Prof. Putnam, it would seem, has taken 
the same position as did Squier and Davis, and advocates the 
theory of an European or Asiatic origin. The following is his de- 
scription: "Approaching the serpent cliff by fording Brush Creek, 
our attention was suddenly arrested by the rugged overhanging 
rocks above our heads, and we knew that we were near the 
object of our search. Leaving the wagon we scrambled up the 
steep hill, and pushing on through brush and briar, were soon 
following the folds of the great serpent along the hilltop. The 
most singular sensation of awe and admiration overwhelmed 
me, for here before me was the mysterious work of an unknown 
people, whose seemingly most sacred place we had invaded. 
Was this a symbol of the old serpent faith here on the western 
continent, which from the earliest time in the religions of the 
East, held so many people enthralled? F"ollowing the ridge of 
the hill northerly one is forced again to pause and admire the 
scene — the beautiful hill-girt valley, the silvery line of the river, 
the vistas opening here and there, where are the broader and 
deeper portions of the river, etc. Turning from this view, and 
ascending the knoll, one sees before him, eighty feet from the 
edge of the cliff, the western end of the oval figure in front of 
the serpent's jaws. 


The oval is one hundred and twenty feet long and sixty feet 
in breadth. Near the center is a small mound of stone, which 
was formerly much larger. Many of the stones show signs of 
fire. Prof. Putnam says: "A careful examination of sections 
through the oval shows that both parts of the earth- work were 
outlined upon a smooth surface, clay mixed with ashes being 
used in some places, but a pavement of stone to prevent wash- 
ing used in other places. The whole structure was carefully 
planned and thoroughly built." Prof. Putnam speaks also of 
the crescent shaped bank between the jaws of the serpent, the 
extremities being seventy-five feet apart, but the bank being 
seventeen feet wide. This crescent is worthy of notice. The 
head of the serpent is thirty feet wide and five feet high. The 
serpent itself is 1,254 feet in length, measured from the tip of 
the jaw to the end of the tail. The average width is twenty 
feet, and the height from' four to five feet. The tail decreases 
where it begins to coil, and is at the end about a foot high and 
two feet wide. "The graceful curves throughout the whole 
length of this singular effigy give it a strange lifelike appear- 
ance, as if a huge serpent slowly uncoiling itself and creeping 
silently and stealthily along the crest of the hill, was about to 
seize the oval within its extended jaws. In the oval embank- 
ment, with its central pile of burnt stones in combination with 
the serpent, we have the three symbols everywhere regarded in 
the old world as emblems of primitive faith. Here we find the 
Linga in Yoni of India, or the reciprocal principle of nature 
guarded by the serpent, or life, power, knowledge and eternity. 
Moreover its position — east and west — indicates the nourishing 
source of fertility, the great sun god whose first rays fall upon 
the altar of stones in the centre of the oval." 

Prof Putnam also refers to the remarkable serpent effigy 
which was discovered by Dr. J. W. Phene in Argyleshire, Scot- 
land, and quotes a description of this, written by Miss Gordon- 
Cummings. The following is the quotation: 

"The tail of the serpent rests near the shore of Loch Nell, 
and the ground gradually rises seventeen to twenty feet in 
height, and is continued for three hundred feet, forming a double 
curve, like a huge letter S, and wonderfully perfect in outline. 
The head formed a circular cairn, on which there still remains 
some trace of an altar. Dr. Phene excavated the circular cairn, 
or circle of stones, and found three large stones, forming a 
megalithic chamber. From the ridge of the serpent's back, it 
was found that the whole length of the spine was constructed 
with stones, regularly and systematically placed at such an angle 
as to throw off the rain. The spine is, in fact, a long narrow 
causeway, made of large stones, set like the vertebrae of some 
huge animal, the ridge sloping off at each side is continued 
downward with an arrangement of smaller stones, suggestive of 


ribs. The mound has been formed in such a position tliat the 
worshipers, standing at the altar, would natuially look eastward, 
directly along the whole length of the great reptile, and across 
the dark lane, to the tripple peaks of Ben Cruachan." Prof. 
Putnam says: "Is there not something more than a mere coinci- 
dence in the resemblances between the Loch Nell and the Ohio 
serpent. Each has the head pointing west, each terminates with 
a circular enclosure containing an altar, from each, looking along 
the most prominent portion of the serpent, the rising sun may be 
seen. If the serpent of Scotland is a symbol of an ancient faith, 
surely that of Ohio is the same." Here then we have the full 
committal of the professor of archaeology in Harvard College 
to this theory of the foreign origin of the great serpent. 

II. The position which we take is, that the system of sym- 
bolism which was contained in the great serpent was also ex- 
tended over the entire region which was occupied by the effigies, 
and thus proves that the people who built the effigies were 
serpent worshipers. We have discovered the serpent cffiigy in 
many places, and find that it always embodies the same elements, 
and seems to have been used to serve the same effigies, and is 
generally connected with the same symbolism. One thing, how- 
ever, is to be noticed, that the symbolism was more elaborate in 
Ohio. If the great serpent was erected by the Dakotas, they 
must have in the course of their migrations, lost much of the 
symbolism which they then possessed. In fact, they degen- 
erated. The symbolism of Ohio was that of sun worship, as 
well as serpent worship. In Wisconsin and Dakota, serpent 
worship seems to have continued, but the emblems of sun wor- 
ship are by no means numerous. Totemism here gained the 
ascendency. Sun worship almost disappeared. Serpent worship, 
however, retained its original power. 

How this superstition arose is unknown. It may have been intro- 
duced from the far east, but there is an uncertainty as to the date 
and means. Serpent worship has prevailed in all parts of the 
globe. It was formerly very extensive in India, and became in- 
corporated into the Buddhistic faith, though it is supposed to be 
derived from the aboriginal tribes. The Hindoos tell the story 
of the great serpent which served as the embodiment of the evil 
principle, Vishnu, the destroyer. There is a sculptured figure 
in one of the oldest pagodas, which represents Orishna tramp- 
ling on the crushed head of the serpent — the Creator trampling 
on the Destroyer. The classical Hercules is represented as con- 
tending with a serpent, the head placed under his foot. The 
gardens of llesperides is a classical myth in which was the tree 
with the golden fruit, which tree was guarded by the hydra- 
headed serpent. In the Egyptian mythology the monster Typhon 
is represented as a combination of two immense serpents. In 
the Scandinavian mythology there is the story of the tree with 


the serpent at its root. This is the Tree of Life, the Ash tree. 
The great serpent Midgard is said to have been precipitated by- 
Woden to the bottom of the ocean, but he wound himself around 
the whole globe and became the serpent of the sea. The Chi- 
nese have as a common myth the story of the dragon which 
threw the universe into confusion. It was born out of an egg 
that floated on the waters of the great abyss. The Persian 
Mithras was depicted with a human body, a lion's head, wings of 
a bird, with the tail of a snake, all of the orders of creation be- 
ing combined into one. Some suppose these to be derived from 
the scripture account of the creation, of the Garden of Eden and 
of the cherubim which guarded the gate. Others would con- 
sider that the Scripture account had only preserved the aborig- 
inal myths and given them a new interpretation, making the 
serpent the embodiment of evil, winged figures the embodiment 
of good. The Egyptian conception was just the opposite. The 
serpent Neph was the creator of the world and the source of 
good. The Phoenicians also considered the winged snake as a 
symbol of the gocd Agatho-demon. Among the Hindoos 
Twashtawas the great artificer of the universe and was supposed 
to bear the form of a serpent. The worship of the serpent was 
prevalent among the Babylonians. The apochryhal story of 
Bell and the dragon shows that it was a well known superstition 
of the Chaldeans. In the mystic theology of the Druids the 
serpent was venerated as the symbol of the Deity and was the 
sovereign dragon of Britain. It was typified in various forms and 
was described as moving around the huge stones of Gaer-Sidi 
or Stone Henge and as pursuing a fleeting Goddess, who is 
styled the Fair One, a myth nearly allied to the legend of Jupiter 
under the form of a serpent violating Proserpine. Among the 
Syrians the Great Mother was typified as a serpent as well as a 
ship. According to the Hindoos an enormous snake is seen 
opening its jaws, and the god Vishnu is seen driving into its 
mouth a herd of cattle, the story being that he was in imminent 
danger from the rage of his enemies, but found shelter for h is 
flocks in this way. Fohi, the reputed first emperor of China, is 
fabled to have had the body of a man with the tail of a serpent. 
Vishnu also floats upon the sea, borne upon the body of an 
immense serpent. 

The serpent, twisted in the form of a circle, was a familiar 
symbol among the Hindoos, Persians, Phoenicians, Egyptians, 
Britains and the Greeks. The caduceus of Hermes exhibited 
two serpents wound around a stafT, a globe, and wings at the 
top of the staff". The Phoenician symbol was a serpent coiled 
around an egg, a symbol which is found in some of the altar 
stones of Mexico. The Assyrian symbol was a man rising out 
of a circle formed by a serpent, with a bov/ and arrow in his 
hands. In Mexico the serpent is a common symbol. It guards 


the temples, forms the balustrades to the stairways of the pyra- 
mids, surmounts the walls which surround the temples, and is 
incorporated into the form of their divinities. The shrines in 
which the Mexican divinities were contained were in the shape 
of serpents, with mouths open, the fire lighting up the interior 
and giving them a ghastly appearance. The altar temples or 
adoratorios at Palenque and Uxmal had the symbols of the 
winged serpent covering the facade and surmounting the door- 
ways. In Benares, the great temples have circular domes which 
cover the sacred piles, and the image of the god stands upon a 
raised platform or high place beneath the dome 

The figure of the cross is sometimes associated with that of 
the serpent. It is a cross, however, which has a circle surround- 
ing it, showing that it was associated with sun worship, but at 
times the figure is also associated with serpent figures. 

There are many strange myths associated vvith serpent-wor- 
ship. In India the myth of the churnmg ot the sea; m Britain 
the myth of the island in the lake; in China the myth concern- 
ing Fohi and the mountain, typhoon, etc; in Greece the myth 
concerning Hercules; in Egypt the myth of Osiris. The fol- 
lowing is the story of the churning of the ocean as related by 
Sir William Jones: Vishnu directed the king ot serpents to 
appear. Then Ananta bore the kmg of the mountains, with 
all its forests, into the presence of the ocean. So the moun- 
tain was set upon the back of the tortoise. Eendra began to 
whirl it about as if it were a machine (a fire generator), the 
mountain Mandar served as a churn and the serpent Vasooke 
for the rope. The Dewtahs, Assoors and Danoos began to 
stir up the waters tor the discovery ot Amrita, or the essence 
of immortality. The mighty Assoors were employed at the 
serpent's head, the Soors at his tail. They pulled forth the 
serpent's head repeatedly and let it go until there issued from 
his mouth a stream of fire, smoke and wind which ascended in 
thick clouds, replete with lightning, when it began to rain down 
upon the heavenly bands. A raging fire was produced, in- 
volving the mountain with smoke and flame which spread de- 
struction upon all sides. The forest trees were dashed against 
each other, the inhabitants of the great abyss were annihilated, 
a raging fire was produced involving the whole mountain with 
smoke and flame. Every vital being was consumed in the con- 
flagration. The raging flames spread destruction on all sides, 
but were at length quenched by a shower, — a cloud-bourne 
water poured down by the immortal Eendra. The end was 
that there arose from the troubled deep, first the moon with ten 
thousand gleams of light, next the jewel Kowstooeh, a glorious 
gem worn by Narayan on his breast. Then the tree of plenty, 
also the horse, as swift as thought; the cow that granted 
every heart's desire; the goddess of fortune, whose seat is the 
white lily. In Great Britain the legend assumes a different 


shape. A holy sanctuary was on the surface ot" the ocean, a 
floating ishind on the seventh wave, a holy sanctuary sur- 
rounded by the sea, a sanctuary with an iron door (a type 
of the ark), and a city not protected with walls. The divin- 
ity entered his earthly cell in the border of the circle. Dis- 
turbed is the Island of Hu; deplorable is the fate of the ark. of 
Aeddon. The goddess of the silver wheel in behalf of the Brit- 
ains threw around the sanctuary of the rainbow a stream which 
scares away violence fronn the earth and causes the bane of 
the former state around the circle of the world to subside. Then 
the masters of the magic wand set the elements at large. The 
dragon chief was the rightful claimant in Britain. He was 
seated on his chair in the midst of the island; his belt a rain- 
bow; a protector of the sanctuary. 

The legend assumes an historical form in the legend of St. 
Cuthbert; of Merlin, also of King Arthur and the round table, 
and forms a very interesting department of mythical literature. 
He was said to have held the strong beamed plow; he sailed in 
a wonderful ship; he presided over a stupendous temple which 
is called the great stone fence, the circle of the world, the mun- 
dane circle of stones, the mound constructed of stone work 
typifying the world, the mundane rampart. The stall of the 
cow, the ark of the world, the common sanctuar}-. He places 
his chair upon the mystic island. He is able to protect his 
chair in the midst of a general flood. 

Many of the stone monuments of Britain were associated 
with these characters. Each kistvaen was regarded as the 
mystic stone cell of Ceridwen. The slab in the center of 
Stone Henge, which has often been taken for an altar, was the 
mystic tomb of Twain, or the Solar Hu, just as a similar stone 
in the midst of the Egyptain temple of Nuphis was a sepul- 
chre of Osiris. The symbols which are connected with serpent 
worship are numerous. Among them are the circle, signifying 
the sun; the horse shoe, signitying the principle of life, the 
trident signifying tfie same; the crescent, signitying the moon 
and the boat; a crescent with three points, one signifying the 
prow, another the stern, and another the mast of the boat. 
They were regarded by some as the^ symbol of the ark. The 
cross is also a common symbol. This assumes the shape of 
the suastika, or the fire generator, the ends signifying the ooints 
of the compass. The cross has the circle adjoining the arms, 
signitying the circle of the sun and the motion of the heavenly 
bodies. These symbols are repeated over and over again in 
all parts of the old world, and are all very significant. Many 
of them are found in this country, though they are not as elab- 
orate, nor are the}^ as closely associated as they were in the 
old world. Still we ha\'e the suastika or fire generator, the 
crescent, circle, the horse-shoe, as well as the serpent, all of 
them very significant. 


Now our point is that we have all of these symbols in Amer- 
ica, the effigy mounds perpetuating the most of them; the relics 
from the altars and earth-works also containing the same sym- 
bols. The strange thing about all of these symbols, the cross, 
the serpent, the circle, the crescent, the bird contained in the 
circle, the serpent and the horse shoe, are found in the State of 
Ohio, the very place from which the Dakotas, according to tra- 
ditions extant among them, are supposed to have migrated, the 
only exception being that of the bird in the circle, which is 
located in Georgia, in the very spot where the Tuteloes, a branch 
of the Dakotas, are known to have dwelt at one time. We can 
not help, then, associating these symbols with this tribe and con- 
cluding that the same tribe when they migrated to the west car- 
ried some of these symbols with them. We might go even 
further and say that the Mound-builders brought into this coun- 

Fig, 226.— Serpent Pipe frbm Altar in Ohio. 

try that form of symbolism which prevailed in Great Britain, 
and which belong to the Indo-European race, though they them- 
selves were not of that stock, but were of the Turanian. Still 
they may have received from some stray member of the Indo- 
European race that symbolism which is supposed to have been 
Turanian, but which were introduced into Great Britain by the 
Druids. There is a mystery about this whole subject, but there 
are enough facts constantly coming to light to keep our curios- 
ity constantly awake and to set new inquiries at work. We may 
call it all visionary and ascribe the theory to credulity, but the 
opposite theory — that is, the theory of the autochthonous origin 
— may lead to equal or even greater credulity. We have, at 
least, the relics and the earth-works, which bear a symbolism 
which resembles that of Great Britain, and explain it as we will 
the relics are substantial and genuine. They have never been 

Let us take the figure given above: It is a carved stone which 
was taken out of one of the mounds in the enclosure on the 
north fork of Paint Creek. It represents the serpent twined 
about the bowl of a pipe. Other sculptures of the serpent coiled 




in like manner have been found. This represents a variety not 
recognized. It has a broad flat head and a body singularly 
marked. Now we think that no one can look at this figure with- 
out being reminded of the Mahadeo of India, a figure which was 
very significant, and was often seen in connection with the phallic 
worship of that country. Dr. Charles Rau says of this: "Mahadeo 
is worshipped by the Hindoo sect under the form of a phallis, 
represented by an upright stone pillar, sometimes in conjunction 
with the Yoni in the shape of a jewsharp." Dr. Rau thinks that 
the same symbols are found in some of the cup-shaped markings 
of this country, especially in that found on Bald Friar's rock in 
West Virginia. Here the serpent's head has the shape of the 
jewsharp. and above it is the symbol of the concentric circle, the 
concentric circle being emblematic of sun worship. Prof Simp- 
son says; Much evidence has been gradually accumulating of 

late years to prove that there ex- 
l|l?^P isted pre-Celtic races in Britain^ 
that the race preceded the me- 
E galithic builders. But Mr. Tate 
H says of the cup and circle carv- 
fi iners in Great Britain that at the 
f-^ period in which they were made 
■3 the whole of Britain was peopled 
■ with tribes of one race, who were 
imbued with the same supersti- 
tions and expressed them by the 
same symbols. He seems to 
have a leaning toward the belief 
that they originated with the 
Druids and were connected with 
the rites of the priesthood. The 
concentric circles show the motion of the heavenly bodies. It 
is remarkable that these cup marks are very common in Ohio, 
though they are not generally regarded as symbolic, a more 
practical use being assigned to them — rests for drills or holes for 
of nut cracking. The horse shoe, however, is found in the earth- 
works at Portsmouth, the concentric circles at one end and the 
serpent effigy at the other. The carved specimens of shell gor- 
gets found in Tennessee contain figures of the serpent. These 
serpents are generally represented with their mouths wide open, 
their tails twisted around, and rings placed at intervals in the 
bodies. It sometimes seems as if there was a conception of the 
dragon contained in them, the rings being the place where the 
legs joined the body, though there are no clearly defined dragons 
among the mounds. The dragon was a symbol among the 
Mexicans; it represented the motion of the heavenly bodies, and 
was used in connection with their chronology. The mounds ot 
Ohio contained no such shells as are found in Tennessee and the 

Pig. 227. — Serpent Symbol showing Rattles. 


Southern States. We conclude from this that they were built 
by a different tribe. Still the mounds of Ohio are, many of them, 
built in the shape of circles and crescents, and have the same 
symbols which are found in the shell gorgets. 

III. There is a distinction between the relics of the different 
localities, and yet it would seem as if serpent worship existed in 
all the localities. Let us take the relics which have been dis- 
covered in the altars near Chillicothe. Squier and Davis have 
described these altars. There are twenty-four mounds, all of 
them altar or burial mounds, or places of sacrifice, in one en- 
closure. The enclosure contained thirteen acres. There was 
no exterior ditch, no elaborate gateway. It was merely enclosed 
by a wall, but it was designed as a burial place. One of the 
mounds was seventeen feet high and one hundred feet in diam- 
eter, but mounds that yielded the mosi relics were comparatively 
small. It would seem to be a place for successive burials, as 
some of the mounds contained two altars, a large one and a 
smaller one, the large one being about sixty feet in length and 
forty five feet across the top, the other one being fifteen feet in 
length and eight feet square at the top. A basin eighteen inches 
in depth was found in the altar. It was burned to the depth of 
two feet, one altar having been built upon the first, both having 
been used and subjected to heat, one after the other. The con- 
tents of this altar consisted of copper and stone implements, 
spear-heads made of quartz and garnet, arrow-heads of obsidian 
and quartz, copper gravers or chisels, twenty or more copper 
tubes, a large quantity of pottery, two vases nearly complete. 
Another contained an altar which is only six feet long and four 
feet wide. On this altar was a deposit of two hundred pipes, 
carved in stone, many pearl and shell beads, numerous disks 
and tubes of copper, and other ornaments of copper, covered 
with silver. The pipes were made of red pipestone, had been 
exposed to the heat, and were many of them broken. They 
were carved with miniature figures of animals, birds, reptiles, all 
of them true to nature, and with exquisite skill, representing the 
peculiarities and habits of the animals. The otter is in a char- 
acteristic attitude, holding a fish in his mouth. The heron also 
holds a fish. The hawk grasps a small bird in its talons, which 
it tears with its beak. The panther, bear, wolf, beaver, otter, 
squirrel, raccoon, hawk, heron, crow, swallow, buzzard, paroquet, 
toucan, turtle, frog, toad, rattlesnake, are recognized at first 
glance. The most interesting and valuable in the list are a num- 
ber of sculptured human heads, no doubt faithfully representing 
the predominant physical features of the ancient people by whom 
they were made. Another mound in the same enclosure con- 
tained a skeleton and skull of one of the Mound-builders. 

Thus we have from this one locality not only the shapes of 
the animals which were carved upon the pipe and which remind 


us of the animal effigies and the skill of this people in imitating 
animal figures, but we have the portraits of the people them- 
selves, and to confirm it the skull of one of the persons that 
may have been the skillful worker whose hands wrought the 
relics. One remarkable circumstance connected with one of the 
portrait pipes is that it very strongly resembles the portraits of 
one of the Mandan chiefs which Catlin painted when he was 
among that people and learned from them the traditions con- 
cerning their migration. We have compared the figure of this 
pipe and a portrait of a living chief, the grandson of the one 
Catlin painted, and have noticed that the last surviving chiefs had 
features almost exactly like those which are contained in the 
pipe. This may be by some regarded as a mere coincidence and 
not as a proof If it is a coincidence, it is a very remarkable 
one. We are ready to acknowledge that the other pipes con- 
tained portraits which are very unlike this. And yet one of 
them., the one with the remarkable head dress, has features 
which we think are very like the features of Dakota women we 
have seen. Taking this evidence \\\\.\\ that which has already 
been given, we consider that there is pretty good proof that the 
Dakotas built the effigies of Wisconsin and the altar mounds oi 

Of course we shall need to connect serpent worship with the 
altars in Ohio to prove that they belonged to the effigy builders in 
both states, but we have the animal figures in the pipes to sug- 
gest this point, and at the same time we have the serpent 
effigy, the aligator effigy, the bird effigy, all of them con- 
taining altars, thus showing that the practice of building 
altarsr and offering sacrifices was common with the effigy 
builders of Ohio. The serpent worship was attended with sac- 
rifices. Another argument is found in the fact that altar mounds 
are not confined to this one locality of IVIound City, but they are 
quite common throughout this district; another locality, that of 
Clark's Works, being very remarkable for the richness of its 
deposits. In this place were found several pipes, one of which 
we have described above. Another remarkable circumstance is 
that the altars contained such a variety of deposits. The mounds 
differed in the number and relative position of the sand strata, as 
well as of the size and shape of the altars and the character of 
the deposits made in them. The altars were somewhat alike, but 
the deposits were entirely different. One mound covered a de- 
posit of pipes, another a deposit of spear heads, another a de- 
posit of galena, or calcine shells, another of mica plates. Some 
of the mounds containing relics had no altars. This was the 
case with the one which contained the coiled serpent. In place 
of the altar a level area, ten or fifteen feet broad, was found, 
much bi rned, on which the relics had been placed. Hundreds 
ol relics, many of them most interesting and valuable, were 


found, among which were several coiled serpents, carved in 
stone, and carefully enveloped in sheet mica and copper; also 
several fragments o^ ivory and a large number of fossil teeth 
and numerous fine sculptured stones. Another mound con- 
tained six hundred disks of horn and stone in two layers. An- 
other contained a layer of silvery mica in round sheets, ten inches 
or a foot in diameter, overlapping each other like the scales of a 
fish, the whole forming the shape of a mica crescent, giving the 
idea that the worship of the moon was symbolized both by the 
crescent and by the glistening color of the mica itself Traces 
of cloth^ several scrolls from thin sheets of mica, instruments of 
obsidian, and a large quantity of pearl beads were taken from 
the mounds at Clark's works. Copper bracelets were taken from 
another mound in the same locality. This contained an altar 
which was paved with small round stone laid with the utmost 
precision. The copper bracelets encircled calcined bones, show- 
that human sacrifices had been offered. 

IV. The following are the elements which we have recognized 
in connection with serpent worship wherever it is found. These 
elements are very apparent in the great serpent; but they are 
also perceptible in other localities. 

1st. The serpent effigy always corresponds to the shape of 
the ground on which it is placed. This is a very remarkable cir- 
cumstance, the natural and the artificial being always associated. 
It is perceptible in all localities. The great serpent in Ohio is 
on a cliff which resembles a serpent in its shape, the very end 
of the cliff representing the nose, the limestone representing the 
white throat, the tortuous line of the cliff representing the motion 
of the serpent, the very shadow on its side making the resem- 
blance all the more striking. The stone serpent in Dakota is on 
a ridge which resembles a great serpent. It is a ridge which 
overlooks the prairie on all sides. The stones of which the 
serpent is composed brings out the resemblance, the two stones 
in the head of the serpent being very expressive. The two ser- 
pents near Potosi, Wisconsin, are situated upon a ridge which, in 
its shape, is suggestive. Here the two serpents correspond with 
the shape of the cliff, every bend in the cliff being followed by 
the e^gy, and the line which constitutes the summit being 
transformed by artificial means into the shape of serpents. It is 
quite wonderful, for the resemblance is so close that one is left 
in uncertainty after he has visited the locality whether he has 
not been deceived. The author, in examining these, was accom- 
panied by Mr. R. S. Foster, who is a graduate of Beloit College 
and a close observer, being a student of natural science. A 
gentleman, also, who owns lead mines and who has been familiar 
with the entire region for many years, was consulted. He seemed 
to have recognized the serpent shape on the summit of the bluff. 

Dr. Lapham has described a row of mounds near Burlington, 


Wisconsin, which was so arranged as to resemble a crooked 
snake. What is remarkable at this locality is, that the line of 
the mounds follows the line of the stream — the Fox River — 
every turn of the stream being followed by the row of mounds. 
There are also three oblong mounds near the head of the snake, 
though it is uncertain whether these were intended to bring out 
the symbols of the three peaks which are always associated with 
the serpent effigies in the old world. 

The serpent effigy discovered by the author a lew miles from 
his home, in Adams County, Illinois, is also contormed to the 
tortuous shape of the cliff. This effigy is in a very conspicuous 
place. It overlooks the bottom lands of the Mississippi River 
for many miles. The effigy itself is a striking object. The head 
of the serpent rests on the south end of the bluff. The bend of 
the neck follows the line of the bluff for 6oo feet. The roll of 
the body extends 300 feet further, but is brought out more fully 
by four high conical mounds. The effigy then follows the line 
of the bluff for 600 feet more, the rattles of the snake being 
plainly visible at the northern extremity of the bluff 

2d. Another element of serpent worship is that it was a 
source of protection to the people. This is seen in the serpent 
in Ohio. Prof Putnam discovered an old village site, and look- 
out and burial mounds in the immediate vicinity. He does not say 
that the serpent has any protective power here, but merely refers 
to the burial mounds and their contents. The spot seems, how- 
ever, to have been occupied for a long time. Evidence of the 
former existence of habitations was shown by the burnt places 
and ash-beds marking the sites of dwellings. But the dwellings 
and burials were of different times. He asks the question: "Does 
not this burial show that the spot was revered as the home of 
ancestors, or from its vicinity to the sacred shrine, about which 
traditions may well have been preserved long after the immediate 
descendants of the builders had disappeared from the region?" 
Prof Putnam mentions a grave containing a pavement of flat 
stones. He says: "Pages could be filled with instructive de- 
tails relating to the burial place and village site." He mentions 
graves which have an antiquity as great as that of the serpent 
itself, and says we have every reason to believe that the bodies 
buried at this spot were of the people who worshiped at the ser- 
pent shrine. This idea of protection given by the serpent to a 
village is, we think, embodied more fully in the forts to which 
w^e have referred — Forts Ancient, Hamilton, Colerain. It is also 
brought out in the stone work near Bourneville. Here the 
serpent is double, the two bodies forming a circle, the necks 
coming together forming the entrance, but the heads turning 
away, the same as they do at Colerain and at Fort Ancient. The 
tapering piles of stone adjoining this work are symbolic of the 
rattles of the serpent, but they are doubled. In this we have 


the same symbolism which is common in Mexico, the tails often- 
times being double.* The cross at Teotihuacan illustrates this. 
In Wisconsin the serpent guards a small council house, the ser- 
pent effigy constituting the wall. Here the serpent is very tor- 
tuous, in fact forming a circle, the head and tail coming very 
near together, and forming the opening to the council house. 
The peculiarity of this effigy is that it corresponds to the shape 
of the bluff on which it is placed, every bend of the serpent rep- 
resenting a bend of the bluff, the whole forming an isolated spot 
on w^hich the council house stood. Squier and Davis have de- 
scribed the works at Portsmouth as having a circle in an isolated 
spot, surrounded by two small streams, guarded by the parallel 
walls. The wall of this circle, according to Mr. T. H. Lewis, is 
in the shape of a crooked serpent, the head and tail coming to- 
gether, so as to constitute the opening. It may have been a 
council house. 

3d. The accompaniment of a " High place" is a frequent 
feature of the serpent effigies. We find this in Ohio. Ac- 
cording to Mr. T. W. Kinney there was an altar at Portsmouth, 
Ohio. It was contained within an artificial mound, which had 
the shape of a serpent. This mound has been destroyed, as it 
is the 5ite of an orphan asylum. It was, however, but a short 
distance from the horse shoe enclosure. Mr. Kinney supposes 
that there were sacrifices offered on this altar. He says that it 
shows evidence of heat. A channel also leads from the altar to 
the edge of the mound, which he thinks was a channel for 

The " High place" occupied by the oval near the serpent has 
been described. It is supposed that this was a spot where sac- 
rifices were frequently offered. The eminence is one which can 
be seen for many miles. The fires lighted here would at night 
cover the whole valley with a peculiar glare. It is evident that 
it was the spot where mysterious ceremonies took place. 

The serpent effigy at Madison, Wis., attends a "High place." 
This altar was also situated on an eminence which could be seen 
for a long distance from all sides. It is a very peculiar ridge, 
and one which attracts attention. The lakes are on all sides of 
it. At present the ridge is unoccupied. It can be seen from the 
capitol, and from the university, and constitutes the third emi- 
nence which marks the site of the city. Fires lighted upon this 
altar could be seen from all the points where effigy mounds are 
at present located. There are many burial mounds in the 
immediate vicinity, but this altar mound is on the highest point, 
and is very conspicuous. Here we have the same element 
which was an important feature of the ancient works in Great 
Britain. The circle at Avebury and the horse shoes at Stone 

*See Fig. 227; also Fig. 175, Dlag. XII. XIII and XIV. 
tSee Atner. Antiq. vol. 1, No.'i, page 37. 


Henge surrounded an altar, the serpent at Avebury forming the 
passage ways to the altars. 1 his is very suggestive, though there 
is a great variation in the different localities. This "High place" at 
Portsmouth is very remarkable. It is near the horse shoe and is 
on the bluff which overlooks the city. Avenues lead from this 
bluff in three directions. At the east end of the avenue are the 
four concentric circles, with four passage ways in the shape of 
a cross, with a terraced mound in the centre, the whole making a 
remarkable sun symbol. At the west end is a large square en- 
closure, v/ith the avenue extending in both directions from it, one 
of them resembling the head of a serpent, the other the tail, the 
enclosure giving the impression that it may have been used as a 
pen in which prisoners were confined and kept for sacrifice. At 
the great ceremonial day the heights may have been lighted 
with sacrificial fire, the one where is the altar and horse shoe en- 
closure being the place of sacrifice, the one where is the square 
enclosure being the place in which the victims were taken; the 
other, where the sun symbol is seen, being the place where 
the offerings to the sun were made, the avenues being in the 
shape of a great serpent, the whole picture being the scene 
where processions passed in great solemnity. The river flowing 
between the place of the sacrifice, and the final place of the 
offering, the very bend of the river suggesting the shape of a 
great serpent. 

4th. In reference to sacrifices, it should be said that nearly 
all the effigies in Ohio have altars connected with them. The 
alligator mound, near Newark, overlooked the site where there 
were villages around which the works were erected. The fires 
could be seen from both villages. It had an altar near. There 
was also an altar inside of the circle which is called the old 
fort. This altar was covered with the bird effigy. An altar also 
attended the cross which has been found near Tarleton. Imme- 
diately back of it is a small circular elevation of stone and earth, 
resembling that in connection with the Granville effigy. Squier 
and Davis say of the cross that it corresponds in position with 
the oval at the head of the great serpent. Here then we have 
all of the symbols of the old serpent worship embodied in the 
different effigies of Ohio, all of them attended also by an altar, 
showing that they were evidently used in connection with sacri- 
fices. Whether they were human sacrifices or not is uncertain. 
The altar mounds in Wisconsin have only the serpent effigy in 
connection with them. Much of the symbolism seems to have 
been lost. Altar mounds are, however, in Ohio associated with 
the sun symbol, and it may be that the sun worshipers were 
the people who erected the great serpent, and that they passed 

*See Faber's History of Idolatrj', Maurice's History of India, 8ir William Jones' 
Asiatic Researches. Davies' Mythology of the Druids, Furlone's Rivers of Life, Fur- 
geson's Serpent Worship, Squier's Serpent Worship, Dorman's Origin of Supersti- 
tion, Mallet's Northern Antiquities. 



off in another direction, possibly to the southwest, the Natchez 
being their descendents. We are ready to acknowledge that the 
comparison can not be carried out in the case of the effigies of 
Wisconsin. In Ohio we have the circle, cross, crescent, horse 
shoe accompanying the altars. In Wisconsin we have only the 
serpent effigies. Was it because the people degenerated, or was 
it because they were of different stock? 

Fig. 22S— Serpent Effigies near Poiosi, Wisconsin. 

5th. The 'prevalence of forts guarded by serpent effigies is 
another point. We have referred to the Fort Ancient, and have 
said that it contained the shape of a serpent embodied in its 
walls. The same is true of the forts at Colerain and near Ham- 
ilton. In both of these forts there are walls which resemble 
serpents in their shape. In one case the heads of the serpents 
formed a gateway which was afterwards closed, the tails forming 
the guards to two other gateways, which were the regular en- 
trances. In the Colerain works the heads formed the main 
entrance, and a mound near the heads formed the lookout for 




Pig. ii9.—8erpent Effl,gy near Burlington, Wiscontin, 

the fort and at the same time served as an out-work or protec- 
tion to the gateways. The question is whether there are any 
forts in Wisconsin, Illinois, Dakota or Minnesota which have 
this peculiarity of the serpent embodied in the walls, or guarding 
the gateways. In reference to this there is some uncertainty, and 
yet there were at Aztlan certain peculiarly shaped walls built out- 
side and inside of the enclosure which might be taken to be ser- 
pent effigies, though their shape has so far been obliterated. 

6th. Aremarkable coincidence has been mentioned. Mr.Wm. 
McAdams has described the paths of buffalo bones which were 


discovered on the prairies of Dakota, and has given a cut which 
shows the shape which the paths assume, and which brings out 
the resemblance of the paths to a great serpent, a mound being 
in the centre of the body, a smaller mound at the head, and a 
tapering mound at the tail. It may be a mere coincidence, and 
may seem visionary that we should mention this, and yet there 
is a resemblance between this modern serpentine path made out 
of bufTalo bones and the remarkable stone path guarded by the 
double lines of standing stones, which is a peculiar feature of the 
works at Avebury, England. We place the two pictures side by 
side to show this. The centre of this path is a high hill called 
Silbury Hill, the largest artificial mound in Great Britain, meas- 
uring no less than 170 feet in height. Here was the great circle, 
containing two smaller circles and the embankment with the 
ditch inside of it. At the end of this avenue was another 
double circle, which was also upon an eminence, called Bennet 
Hill. The tail of the serpent went in the direction of Beck- 
hampton. The resemblance between the two structures, the one 
in Dakota and the other in Great Britain, is certainly remarkable, 
but the tradition which Catlin repeated long before the path of 
buffalo bones was known, is even more remarkable. It has been 
a question who built the works at Stone Henge and at Avebury, 
and it is still uncertain, some ascribing them to the Druids, 
others to the Phoenicians, and still others to the early Britains. 
The Celts could not have come to this country, for there are no 
signs that the Celtic, Saxon, or any of the branches of the Indo- 
European languages were ever introduced here, the students of 
the aboriginal languages all being agreed on this point. In 
reference to the Britains and the Basques the linguists are not 
so sure. In fact, some of them, Mr. Horatio Hale among them, 
have claimed that there were many resemblances to these Indian 
languages. We would refer to the connecting link between the 
peculiar structures in Great Britain and the efifigies in Wiscon- 
sin and Dakota, See Plate IV. 




We now turn to the comparison of the effigies of Wis- 
consin with the totems of the Dakotas. Many ot the effigies 
are clan emblems. The system of totemism as embodied 
among the Dakotas is very remarkable. It appeared in taboes 
which were placed upon the diflerent kinds of animals, the 
clans never being allowed to eat the flesh of the animal whose 
totem they bore. To illustrate: The elk clan being iorbidden 
elk; the buftalo clan, buffalo; the hanga clan forbidden geese, 
swans and cranes; the turtle clan, turtle. The deer clans could 
not wear deer skins for moccasins. Another clan was forbid- 
den to touch snakes, toads or frogs, and hence they are called 
reptile people. The Dakotas also have peculiar superstitions 
about their totems. They believe that the animal spirit pos- 
sesses them, that the animal whose totem they bear is within 
them. The Minnetarres dress in wolf skins when they go to 
war, the skin and tail hanging down the back. The Tetons 
have raven skins fixed to the back of the girdle, with the tail 
sticking out behind, and the raven upon the head with the beak 
projecting from the forehead. The Iowa clans have a peculiar 
way of dressing the hair, the hair of the children, especially of 
the Buffalo clan, wearing two locks of hair in imitation of horns. 
The hanga clan wear a crest of hair to imitate the back of a 
buftalo. The turtle clan cut off all the hair except six locks, 
which represent the legs, head and tail of the turtle. The bird 
clan leave a little hair in front for the bill, and some at the back 
of the head for the tail, and locks over each ear for the wings. 
Before hunting, the Dakotas act a bear pantomime. The med- 
icine man dresses in the skin of a bear; all wear masks con- 
sisting of the bear's head, and all of them imitate bears. When 
buffalo are scarce, the Mandans wear masks of buffalo heads 
with horns on them and imitate the buffalo in the dance. There 
were associations or societies which were based upon this 
totemism, being imitations of the attitudes of the animals whose 
totems they bore. The encampment of the Dakotas was ac- 
cording to their totem, each clan having its particular place in 
the encampment or the village, and oftentimes had the figures 
of the clans painted on the tents. In the Ottawa village the 
different clans had separate wards, at the gates of which were 
posts bearing the figures of the clan totems. Sometimes the 



skin was stuffed and 
stuck on a pole before 
the door. It was paint- 
ed on the tomb or 
grave post, but gen- 
erally reversed, with 
the head down. Some 
times the skin of the 
animal hung over the 

Now we have only 
to put these elan to- 
tems into the shape of 
an effigy or emblem- 
atic mound to find an 
explanation which is 
very satisfactory. Of 
course this might be 
done by any other 
tribe as well as by the 
Winnebagoes, but as 
a matter of tact the 
Dakotas were in the 
habit of embodying 
their totems in this 
way, as no other tribes 
did. They not only 
painted them upon 
the tents, inscribed 
them upon the rocks, 
but built stone effigies 
which should repre- 
sent them, and we 
suppose that in Wis- 
consin they used the 
earth to perpetuate 
their totem system. 

The names of the 
clans also correspond 
to the clan emblems 
found among the effi- 
gies. There are many 
interesting facts to il- 
lustrate this. The 
Dakotas have the 
names of different 
animals which they 
give to their clans. 
These names corre- 




-Panther Ffflgy near Burlington. 

The fox; 

spond to a certain degree with the clan emblems which we have 
recognized in the effigy mounds of Wisconsin. The following 
are the clan emblems which we have discovered among the 
effigy mounds, i. The panther; this was situated at Big Bend 
and at Racine, two 
villages, including one 
village at Milwaukee. 
2. The wolf; this was 
located at Waukesha, 
but possibly extended 
as far north as West 
Bend. 3. The rac- 
coon ; this had its hab- 
itat on the lake shore, 
extending from Mil- 
waukee to Sheboy- 
gan, with a village at 
both places. 4. The 
turtle clan; this has 

been identified as the emblem prevalent at Beloit. 5. 
probably located at Horicon, Mayville and Fox Lake, the chief 
center at Horicon. 6. The squirrel; this is a very common em- 
blem at Green Lake, but is also seen on the east side of Lake 
Winnebago. 7. The mink; is an emblem which is found at 
Baraboo and Buffalo Lake; it may have been a clan emblem or 

it may have embodied some other super- 
stition. 8. The pigeon was the clan 
emblem on the Lemon weir River; it is 
about the only emblem at Mauston. 
9. The eagle; this clad had its habitat 
on the Wisconsin River, which extended 
from The Dells to the neighborhood of 
MusGoda. 10. The swallow was the 
clan emblem at the mouth of the Wis- 
Pig.itsi— Pigeons. consiu River ; it is a very common effigy 

in Crawford County, the first group being found at Port 
Andrew, near Boscobel, and the last being found near Prairie 
du Chien. 11. The bufialo was a common 
effigy in Grant County. 12. The bear 
seems to have been the clan emblem at 
Blue Mound, its habitat extending from 
the Blue Mounds to Madison. 13. The 
clan emblem at Madison is uncertain; there 
is a great variety of effigies in this region. 
We fix with a considerable degree of cer- ^''^- ^ss-Pigeon. 

tainty upon the panther, the wolf, the bear, the pigeon, th« 
eagle and the mink clan as having been visitors at Madison. 

These clan emblems may be recognized in the effigies which 
are predominant in the different localities. In most of the 


localities, the boundaries of the clan can be recognized and the 
different features of the clan life identified— the village site, the 
game drives, the burial places, the sacrificial places. With some 
of the clans, however, the boundaries are uncertain, as the 
effigies which are regarded as the clan emblems are spread 
over a considerable amount of territory, different centers ap- 
pearing in the same clan. Illustrations of this are seen in the 
case of the squirrel clan, as the squirrel eflSgies are very numer- 
ous on Green Lake and again on Lake Winnebago, making 
two separate centers. The panther effigy is also seen at Big 
Bend, at Racine, at Milwaukee and at Burlington, making four 
centers and four village sites. The turtle clan had its chief 
center at Beloit, but the turtle is a very common effigy at Pe- 
waukee, which is some fifty or sixty miles away. The eagle 
clan has its chief center in Eagle Township, but there are eagle 
effigies at The Dolles, on the Wisconsin River, and at Sauk 
Prairie, and other places, showing several centers for this clan. 
The same is the case with the bear — one center being at Blue 
Mound, another at Nine-mound Prairie, another at Madison. 

Fig. 23U— Panthers. Fig. 235— Turtle. 

The wolf is found at Waukesha, and again at West Bend, two 
centers. The raccoon is found at Milwaukee and again at She- 
boygan, two separate centers. This circumstance, however, 
proves either that all belonged to one tribe or that there were 
phratres in the different tribes, the phratres always having the 
same emblem as the mark of their social or totemic affinity. We 
have enough evidence from the effigies, however, to enable us 
to fix upon the names of the clans, and we may well compare 
them with the names of the Winnebago and other Dakota 
tribes. We shall not find any one tribe which contains all ot 
the clan emblems exactly as they are given by the effigies, and 
yet if we take all of the'Dakota tribes we may be able to pick 
out emblems which are exactly the same as those found in the 

We find that the Kaws have the nearest approach to the clan 
emblems in the effigies, but the Winnebagoes are the people 
who are supposed to have been the builders of the effigies. The 
ioUowing is the list of elan emblems as presented by the differ- 
ent Dakota tribes : (i). The Winnebagoes have the ivoljf, bear., 
buffalo^ eagle, elk, deer, snake, thunder, — only four of them 
found among the effigies. (2). The Omahas have the deer, 
bird, turtle, buffalo, bear, medicine, kaw, head, red, thunder, — 
only three of them amon^' ^hs sffigies (3). The Punkas have 



the dear, elk, skunk, buffalo, snake, medicine, — only two found 
among the effigies. The lowas have the wolf, bear, buffalo, 
Q\\i, eagle, pig-eon, snake, owl, — five found among the effigies. 
(5). The Sioux have the tortoise, snakt, squirrel, wolf, buffalo — 
four among the effigies. (6). Tin * Kaws have the deer, bear, 
buffalo, white eagle and black ergie, duck, elk, raccoon, prairie 
■wolf, turtle, earth, deer — tail, tetiS, thunder, — six of them among 
the effigies. (7). The Mandans have the wolf, bear, prairie 
chicken, knife, eagle, flat head , 

high village, — three of them 
among the effigies. Out ot 
the entire list we find the fol- 
lowing emblems contained in 
the effigies used as clan em- 
blems: The bear and buffalo 
in six tribes, the eagle in five 
tribes, the wolf in four tribes, 
the turtle in two tribes, the 
pigeon in one tribe, but we 
do not find the squirrel, swal- 
low, the panther or mink, in 
any of the tribes. It is diffi- 



•■«. IV, . ><<^ 


Jja t.*^ n. 


(S«5^<^e t3S i^CB 

Fig. 236 — Jfis)i near Delavan Lake. 

cult to account for the absence of these totems, for they are prom- 
inent among the effigies. It sho"!'^ '^^. said that both these animals, 
the panther and squirrel, are .».c-ly found among any of the 
tribes, whether Algonquins or Dakotas. In fact the Sioux is 
the only one of all the northern tribes which has the squirrel as 
a clan emblem at all, and the Chickasaw is the only one of the 
southern tribes. The Miamis and Shawnees are the only tribes 

among the Algonquinsjwhich 

have the panther. The Da- 
kotas do not have the panther 
at all. This discrepancy be- 
tween the effigies and the 
clan emblems of the Dakotas 
is to be recognized,for it may 
be that the effigy builders 
were not Winnebagoes, but 
Mascoutens, or possibly Ojib- 

Fig.237— Birds near Rockton, m. waS, Or SOme Other of the 

Algonquin tribes, — possibly the Foxes, Menominees, Kickapoos 
or Pottawattamies. 

The following are the Algonquin tribes which have clan em- 
blems corresponding with the effigies: Ojibwas, Pottawattamies, 
Ottawas, Miamis, Shawnees, Sacs and Foxes, Menominees and 
Kickapoos. All of these have resided at one time in Wiscon- 
sin. No one of them, however, has all the emblems which are 
contained in the effigies, though they come as near as do the 
Dakota's. The following is the list of clan emblems of the 


Algonquins which are found in the effigies: The Ojibwas have 
lour, which correspond, the wolf, bear, turtle, eagle. The Pot- 
tawattamies have the wolf, bear, eagle, fox. The Miamis have 
the wolf, eagle, panther, raccoon. The Shawnees had the 
wolf, bear, panther, raccoon, turtle. The Sacs and Foxes had 
the wolf, bear, eagle, bufTalo, fox, five that are found among 
the effigies. There is about the same correspondence between 
the Algonquin totems and the effigies as between the Dakota 
totems and the effigies. While we have the panther and the 
turtle among the Algonquins corresponding to the emblems in 
the effigies, we find that the mink, squirrel and swallow are 
absent from the Algonquins. Still, if the argument in reference 
to the Dakotas or the Winnebagoes as being the effigy builders 
instead of the Algonquins rested upon the resemblance between 
the effigies and the totems, we should be at a loss to choose be- 
tween the Algonquins and the Dakotas. It does not rest on 
this, but it rests upon the presence of the serpent effigy in 
every place where the Dakotas have been. This may be 
said to turn the scale. In fact, we depend upon this to deter- 
mine the starting point of the Dakotas, the line along which 
they migrated, and the points at which the tribes settled. It 
is a singular circumstance that serpent effigies are found only in 
the territory which was once occupied by the Dakotas. They 
are not found in the region where the Algonquins lived. The 
Mascoutens or Kickapoos have been by some regarded as the 
earliest tribe in Wisconsin, and the effigies have been ascribed 
to them. But there are no serpent effigies in any locality 
where the Kickapoos lived. The Sacs and Foxes were at one 
time in the territory where the effigies are found, but so far as 
the villages of the Sacs and Foxes are concerned they contain 
no serpent effigies. The villages which have been studied, and 
near which serpent effigies have been discovered are not vil- 
lages which tradition fixes upon as having been occupied by the 
Sacs. In fact the burials and the burial customs of the two 
races which built their villages along the Mississippi River con- 
firm the theory that the Dakotas were the people who built 
these serpent effigies, rather than any other known tribe. 




In the first edition of the work on "Emblematic Mounds," we 
gave an explanation of their objects and uses. We showed that 
they were connected with the tribal and clan life of an unknown 
people. They indicate not only great skill in imitating wild 
animals, but also the superstition felt about these animals. The 
effigies present a picture of the animal life which once existed, 
at the same time a picture of native society. They also exhibit 
the totemism which prevailed and its marvellous influence over 
the people. The truthfulness of this view has not, by any 
means, been impaired by subsequent exploration, but rather has 
become much clearer. 

The chapter which we are now to add is not designed to cor- 
rect any of the statements made, or even to defend the positions 
advanced, but to supplement what has been said by the account 
of a few additional discoveries. The interpretation of the system 
which prevails has been applied to new groups of effigies, and 
has been found to be an excellent clew. There are, to be sure, 
some features about the new groups which are somewhat mys- 
terious and will require further study before they can be 
explained, but, as a general thmg, the key which is in our hands 
proves sufficient to unlock the mysteries. The process of expla- 
nation was, at the beginning, very slo'w, but as the system 
dawned upon the mind, complete order has appeared where at 
first there was the greatest confusion. 

I. The effigies are not arranged in a hap-hazard way, however 
much they may seem to be, but are so placed as to constitute a 
most remarkable system, which fits into the environment so as 
to present a fascinating picture set in the framework of the most 
beautiful and varied scenery. It seems strange that the unknown 
people could have succeeded in impressing themselves so thor- 
oughly upon the landscape, but it appears that they were able, 
through these mute-figures, to perpetuate their customs, their 
superstitions, their mysteries, and their very thoughts. The 
figures are mere reliefs in earth, imitative of animal shapes, but 
the imitation is a small part of the work which has been done. 
It requires persevering study to understand the hidden signifi- 
cance of the effigies, and to learn about the system which was 
contained in them, but the subject appears clearer at every 
step, so that the explorer becomes confident that his positions 
are well established. It is well that the effigies were studied 


before the clew to their explanation was lost. The preliminary 
platting was made by professional surveyors, at a time when the 
effigies were in their virgin freshness. The subsequent study 
of them came before the fashion for summer resorts had gained 
sway. They are rapidly disappearing, and many groups have 
been entirely destroyed since the work was begun. The 
ingress of pleasure-seekers has not had the effect to preserve 
these remarkable figures, nor even to increase the inquiry about 
them as much as it should. It is to be hoped, however, that 
some means of perpetuating them will be devised. They are 
beautiful works of art, at least they seem so to one who has 
studied their shapes; and not only this, they are monuments of 
the past, which, when destroyed, cannot be restored. There is 
danger that the full explanation ot the entire system will never 
be given unless these works are now studied. It is with the 
purpose of calling attention to the importance of these effigies as 
a record of the past that we write these pages. We maintain 
that they are records, perhaps unintentional and unconscious, 
yet nevertheless records. Is there any further explanation of 
them than that which we have given? There are certain prob- 
lems which have not been solved, certain points which are 
obscure, yet with a clew to the labyrinth in our hands, we may 
penetrate the utmost corner and learn what is contained therein. 
There is a unity amid diversity, so that the record needs to go 
together as a whole, all the parts being necessary to tell the 
story. Still the groups were generally the embodiment of a 
system which is repeated with variations, the same points com- 
ing out again and again. This is fortunate, for it the effigies 
in different groups in one place or locality are destroyed, we may 
go to another place and learn much there. By this means we 
can verify our own positions and clear up our difficulties. There 
are many things which lie beyond us. We are still ignorant of 
what actually existed, but earnestness and perseverance may 
dispel the mystery. The danger is not that we shall exaggerate 
and read too much in the picture, but that we shall see too little, 
and so fall short of the lesson to be learned. 

Our position is that there are certain elements in this prob- 
lem, which, if studied now, will lead us on to a full understanding. 
We do not believe that they are incapable of explanation, as 
some have maintained. They may seem like hieroglyphics. In 
fact, they are hieroglyphics, but they contain a picture language 
which may be read. They do not contain the conventional 
figures of the Egyptian alphabet, nor even the connected animal 
figures which are found in the native writings of the Easter 
Islands. Nor do we compare them to those rock inscriptions 
which have been recently discovered in Tennessee, specimens of 
which we give in the cuts. Possibly there was an esoteric 
system which reveled in mystery, and which complicates the 


problem by the deep significance which is given to the simplest 
forms, making trifles very important. So far as they have been 
penetrated, they seem to be free from this punctiliousness. Per- 
haps they are on too large a scale, and are too useful in their 
character for that. On the other hand, they present some of the 
most essential and fundamental principles, and to these we now 
call attention. 

1. The effigies were not merely imitative shapes or creations of 
fancy, but were actual emblems or symbols, each of which 

a secondary meaning. 

2. They embody in themselves that most remarkable system 
which was common among all the wild tribes of America, called 
totemism — a system which is not fully understood, but, never- 
theless, constituted the most important factor in native society. 

3. There are few, if any, sun symbols among the animal effig- 
ies. This shows that the people were so-called animal-worship- 
-ers, and practiced all the rites that this name implies. 

4. It is natural that the animal-worshipers should embody 
their myths in the animal divinities, and it is clear that some of 
these earth figures were myth-bearers. 

5. Some of the effigies exhibit the peculiar superstitions which 
wild hunters have about their dreams, were in fact dream gods 
or totems. 

6. The situation of the effigies on hill-tops, near lakes and 
rivers, making important objects in the landscape, shows that 
there was a peculiar sense of the sacredness of the animal divin- 
ities, under whose protection the people dwelt. 

7. The grouping of different effigies together in certain local- 
ities convey the idea that clans intermingled in their feasts and 
dances and amusements, their sugar-making, their hunting and 
their religious ceremonies, each one marking its presence by 
erection of its totem on the soil. 

8. The surmise has arisen that even the record ot battles and 
of treaties may be contained in the effigies, as certain groups 
exhibit a sort of picture writing which can be explained in no 
other way. 

9. The existence of secret societies and the celebration of 
mysteries have been suggested by the discovery of certain groups 
which are peculiarly situated, making an additional feature to 
the record, v/hich has not been mentioned heretofore. 

These are the points which have come out after diligent 
study of the effigies. They correspond with the accounts which 
are given by those who are studying the customs of the Indian 
tribes, the study having gone on at the same time with these 
explorations, the results having been brought together and 
compared after the work was done. Archaeology and ethnology 
are different departments of one science. It is gratifying to know 
that they teach the same lessons. 


II. The interpretation of the system contained in the effigies 
recently discovered will now engage our attention. It is the 
same as that given to the groups of effigies which have already 
been described, with perhaps a few additional points. If there 
shall seem to be a repetition of the points already advanced, it 
will only show that the system is the same throughout. 

I. The first thing which was impressed upon us by the study 
of the effigies is, that they were all wrought by a single tribe, a 
tribe which has not yet been identified, but nevertheless one 
which resembled the tribes of Indians which formerly occupied 
this region. This impression has grown stronger as we have 
progressed in the study of the subject. Different tribes had 
different ways of perpetuating their tribal signs. To illustrate, 
the Dakotas and some other tribes painted animal figures upon 
their tents; the Haidahs tatoo them upon their faces and forms 
and paint them upon their canoes; the Thinkleets carve them 
into totem posts; theChippewas cut them into blocks of wood and 
place them upon the houses which cover their graves; the Iro- 
quois have written them with ink upon documents which were 
used as deeds or as treaties, each chief making the figure of an 
animal instead of his mark. 

The Indians of British Columbia carve their totems on the 
prows of their canoes; the Pawnees mark their totems on their 
huts and articles of apparel; the Lenapes painted them on their 
houses; theMandans placed the skin of the animal over their 
wigwams; the lowas have a peculiar mode of dressing the hair; 
the buffalo clan wear their locks in imitation of horns; the 
Hanga clan have a mat of hair to imitate the back of the buffalo ; 
the turtle clan have six locks, to represent legs, head and tail; 
the bird clan have their hair in front for the bill, with a lock at 
the back tor the tail, and a bunch over either ear for the wings; 
the Minetarees dress in wolf skins when they go to battle ; the 
Thlinkeets go into dances disguised in the full form of the ani- 
mals whose totems they worship. We imagine that in prehistoric 
times the tribes did the same thing. One tribe used shell gorgets 
as a means of record; another used carved pipes, Mound-build- 
ers' pipes; another inscribed figures upon rocks, made these 
their tribal records; another erected stone effigies or bowlder 
mosaics, and left these as their tribal signs. 

The effigy-builders had the custom of shapin'g their totems 
out of earth, and confined themselves to this. The tribe occu- 
pied the major part of Wisconsin and extended to the south as far 
as the mouth of the Kishwaukee, south of Rockford, 111. It 
extended also into the states of Iowa and Minnesota, and left 
effigies on the bluffs and on the banks of streams as evidence of 
their presence. The tribe may have been akin to that unknown 
people which have covered the sides of the caves of Minnesota 
with the remarkable figures which have been described by Mr. 


T. H. Lewis, These figures, however, differ in all respects from 
the effigies and contain an entirely different symbolism; they 
are more of the nature 'of mythologic creatures. Nothing like 
them has been discovered in Wisconsin. Some maintain that 
the Winnebagos were the effigy-builders. This is very uncer- 
tain. The Winnebagos formerly lived in the state and had vil- 
lages in the very spots where the groups of effigies are found. 
The groups on the south side of Green Bay, at Red Banks, on 
the west side of Lake Mendota, at various points on the Wis- 
consin river, and those on the Kishwaukee river, are near the 
site of former Winnebago villages.* 

There are also groups of effigies on the north side of the Fox 
river, in the very region where the Winnebagos still linger. One 
such group is situated near Neceedah; several other groups are 
on Pine river, north of this. The writer, after visiting these groups, 
interviewed some of the Winnebagos making their camp in the 
vicinity, but was surprised to find them so ignorant of the effigies. 
One young Indian, a descendant of Decorah, the chief, had seen 
some of the same effigies farther south, and had noticed the man 
mounds, but did not seem to be aware of the animal shapes. 
He spoke of the villages as marked by corn hills and had evi- 
dently been impressed more by these than by the effigies. 

The discovery of certain pipes of the monitor pattern among the 
effigies shows that the people were acquainted with the Mound- 
builders' art, and were associates of the Mound-builders of the 
south. These pipes have a curved base, a round bowl and the 
same finish as those found in the mounds and called Mound- 
builders' pipes.f No carved animal pipes have yet been discov- 
ered in Wisconsin. 

The copper relics which are so numerous in Wisconsin would 
prove that the effigy-builders had access to the copper mines of 
Lake Superior. There are no effigies on the shores of Lake 
Superior, and we infer from this that other tribes must have 
been the possessors of the mines, but the effigy-builders must 
have been at peace with them. It may be that in early times the 
same stock of Indians extended as far north as Lake Superior, 
and that another stock afterward came in. The Chippewas have 
been, since the times of history, the occupants of the Lake 
Superior region. They are bitter enemies to the Dakotas and 
Sioux, and prevented the latter people from getting copper in 
their mines. The effigies were probably built before the Chippe- 
was got possession of the mines. 

The tribal unity of the effigy-builders is plain. A solid nation 
without separation with clans occupying the different parts, but 
all connected by trails and water courses with the ancient city 

♦See Farmers' Map. Lapham's Antiquities of Wisconsin. 

tA. J. Parry, of Montello, has two such pipes. The writer has one. They are all of 
them made of catlinite. 



Aztlan as the capital, havinc^ the two lakes^'on the north and 
east, and the great river on the west for defense, dwelt in this 
beautiful region, where forests and prairies are interspersed, and 
lakes and rivers form the most delightful fishing grounds, and 
where the scenery is attractive, and followed their peaceful avo- 
cations, making the building of the effigies their pastime, as well 
as their religion. 

2. Another feature of the system is that it furnishes so good 
a picture of the clan habitats. Each clan had its own territory, 
within which were game grounds, dance grounds, council houses, 
sacrificial places, burial places, garden beds, corn fields, grain 
pits or caches for grain, lookout mounds, village sites; all of them 

• '^ 



Fie/. 2?!S.— Wild Goose Clan. 

protected by effigies which were representative of totems. The 
location of these clans, as well as the name of the clans, has been 
ascertained by a study of the effigies, and a map made by this 
means. There is an uncertainty about some ot the clans, for the 
very reason that the clans mingled together so much and placed 
their clan emblems on one another's territory, still, the emblem 
which surrounds the village, and which is the most prominent, 
is the one which gives the name to the clan. We have identified 
on the map the most of the clans, three on the east side of the 
state adjoining Lake Michigan, two or three in the central part 
of the state along the Rock river, two or three in the western 
part of the state, near the mouth of the V/isconsin river, two 
or three others in the central part of the state, and along the 
Lemonweir river, and two or three in the northeast part of the 
state, along the Fox river. This location of the clans would 
show that there was a river system, each clan having some 
river for its own, and making its habitat on each side of the 



river. The clans which we have identified on the east side of 
the state are as follows: The panther clan, with its habitat ex- 
tending from the state line to Milwaukee, and from Burlington, 
on the Fox river to Racine, the wolf clan on the Milwaukee 
river, the raccoon clan on the Sheboygan river, and the wild 
goose clan, which stretched from the Milwaukee river to the 
Rock river, its chief center being at May ville. All of these clans 
seem to have freely intermingled, for the effigy of the wild goose 
and the coon are seen associated with the wolf at Milwaukee and 
West Bend. Coon effigies are sometimes seen with the heads 
joined together, making a sort of double animal.* Of the central 
clans on Rock river, the southernmost was the turtle. Its habitat 
extended from the mouth of the Kishwaukee, below Rockford, to 
a point near Fort Atkinson, including groups at Rockton, Rock- 

Pig.i59.— Wolf Effigies at Great Bend. 

ford, Beloit, Indian Ford, Lake Koshkonong, Fort Atkinson and 
Aztlan. This clan extended as far east as Lake Geneva and em- 
braced the effigies which were formerly located on the site of 
the village, including the groups of fish effigies at Lake Lawn 
on Delavan Lake. There are only two groups of fish effigies, 
this one at Lake Lawn and another on the northwest side of 
Lake Koshkonong. 

North of the turtle clan was another, whose clan emblem was 
the fox. There are many fox effigies at Horicon and near Beaver 
Dam, in Dodge county, but they are mingled with the wild 
geese and squirrels, showing that here also there was a mingling 
of clans, the wild geese from the east and the squirrels mingling 
with the foxes at this place. f The same mingling of the clan 

*See Diagram XV; also Figs. 182 and 183. 'These composite mounds suggest a combin- 
ation of clans. 

tThe wild goose and fox are very prominent in a large group of burial mounds a mile 
south of Horicon, and are also prominent in another large group on Mr. A. C Drowne's 
farm, in Oak Grove Township, six miles west of Horicon. On the other hand, two squirrels 



is also manifest on the Four Lakes, near the City of Madi- 
son, in a great variety of figures, for no one figure is prominent 
enough to decide about the clan.f The clans in the southwest 
part of the state have been newly explored. One situated upon 
the south side of the Wisconsin river has the bear for its emblem, 
though the buffalo, moose, panther is frequently seen. This clan 
extended from the Wisconsin river to the state line and embraced 
the effigies near the Blue Mounds. The clan north of the Wis- 
consin has the swallow for its emblem. This clan extended as 
far east as the village of Boscobel, and the old dead town called 
Port Andrews. Here is a remarkable group. It consists of a 
line of swallows over a mile long. The swallows are on the 
slope of a hill near the river and underneath the rocky cliff, 
which is very high. The road runs along the edge of the cliff 
and overlooks the land where the effigies are. They can be 

W t S ~C O /YS 7/Y 

Fig. %U0.— Swallows at Fort Antirews. 

plainly seen from the road and are very interesting and beautiful, 
though they are fast disappearing under the plow. There is one 
swallow here of which we shall speak hereafter. It is at the end 
of the line of swallows, but is placed by itself on a knoll, and so 
surrounded by long mounds as to be protected on three sides, 
constituting a sort of enclosure by itself See Fig. 240. 

• East of this, in the neighborhood of Muscoda, we find the 
eagle to be the common clan mblem. The eagle clan appears 
to have been a very large clan. It extended from near the 
group at Port Andrews, up through all the towns on the Wis- 
consin river, and as far east as Sauk City, and even extended 

have been seen a mile west of Horicon, near the depot. Here each squirrel crowns the 
summit of a small knoll, and is elevated by the knoll so as to overlook the lake and form a 
striking object in the landscape. A similar group was seen north of Horicon. See Figs. 
86, 88, 89, and 171;. 

tMan mounds are common in the region of the four lakes and at Devil s lake, but are 
not seen anywhere else. For this reason, we have designated the man as the totem of the 
region. See Figs. 172, 180, 203, 218, and groups on asylum grounds. 



over the water-shed, and left its totem on the banks of the four 
lakes at Madison. Mr. S. Taylor was the first to recognize the 
eagle, but he said nothing about the eagle clan and did not fol- 
low up the subject in this way. In fact, all the early archaeolo- 
gists were successful in their work of identifj'ing particular birds 
and animals, but did not undertake to trace the clan emblems or 
to study the totem system. The eagle effigy, discovered by Mr. 
S. Taylor, at Black Earth, marks the western extremity of this 
clan. The eagles which, in company with Prof. F. W. Putnam, 
we discovered at the Dells, may have marked the eastern ex- 
tremity, though the center of the clan habitat proper was in the 
vicinity of Eagle township. Here the eagle effigy is frequently 
used as a part of a game drive, as well as a clan emblem. A 

S o. rv ci y ^ *■ *^__^ ** 

Mg. Zltl.— Pigeons on the Lemonweir River. 

single stream is lined with these effigies — one of them nearly 
a thousand feet long serving as a screen; twenty others with 
their wings folded, overlooking the feeding ground of the deer, 
game drive following game drive, all of them being fairly sur- 
rounded by eagles. See map of Eagle Township. 

At Honey creek there are two eagles near a game drive, with 
two bears, a deer, a fox and a buzzard, the whole group making 
a remarkable picture of a hunting scene, with the beasts and birds 
watching the game, and the clan totem over all. 

There was a clan situated on the Lemonweir river, northwest 
of the eagle, which had for its emblem the pigeon. See Fig. 
241, We present a cut taken from Lapham's work, of a group at 
Mauston. It represents a game drive; there were garden beds 
not far from this; Old Decorah's burial place was at Mau's 
Mills. The habitat of the pigeon extended west perhaps as far 
as LaCrosse. There is a large group of burial mounds south of 



Sparta, which is inside of the territory. The group at New Lisbon 
may belong to this clan. A clan was situated on the Mississippi 
about LaCrosse and Trempeleau, on either side of the river; we 
are uncertain about the emblem and can not give the name. 

One of the most interesting clans was that which had the mink 
for its emblem; this was located on the Wisconsin river, near 
the Portage. It bordered the eagles on the west, and the squir- 
rels on the east; its habitat extended from Sauk Prairie and the 
Dells, across the Portage to the north side of Buffalo Lake, where 
there are many groups of effigies which had never been explored 
until the author visited the region. 

It is to be noticed that the raccoon is found in effigy, closely 
associated with the mink, throughout the territory of the mink 
clan. Diagram XIX and Figs. 199-200. It assumes a variety 
of attitudes; the effigy never bears the conventional type that it 

Fig. 2^.— Mink EffiQies at MerriWs Landing. 

has on the Sheboygan and Milwaukee rivers, and so it is doubt- 
ful whether it was a clan totem. 

The most interesting place for the study of the mink clan is at 
Merritt's Landing, or Packwaukee. There, mink effiigies are 
associated with a large number of grazing animals, such as the 
elk, the moose, the buffalo; these were animals which were 
probably common in this region, for it is a region of mingled 
forests and lakes, and unlike the prairie regions. The bear is 
also a common effigy here. Here there are two or three very 
large mink effigies — one of them seven hundred feet long. See 
Fig. 242. It is so long and so level that the farmer who owns 
the land has placed his gateway at the head of the mink and 
drives to his field on the body of the mink, the roadway being 
open where the effigy is, but a second growth of timber comes 
to the very edge of the mink on either side. The mink is nearly 
as long as the whole group of animals, the group on the edge 
of the lake being one thousand feet and this seven hundred feet 
long. Another mink near by measures four hundred and fifty feet. 



On the south side of the lake, about ten miles to the east of 
the mink clan, the habitat of the squirrel clan began. Both 
clans seem to have had their hunting grounds on this lake. The 
elk, buffalo and moose were the animals which they hunted. 
There are many elk effigies on the north side of the lake, but the 
mink effigy is associated with them, mink effigies being also found 
west of Buffalo lake, near the headwaters of the Fox river. 
Squirrel effigies extend across to Puckaway lake, on the south 
side, but do not extend north of Buffalo lake. The squirrel clan 
here hunted the elk. There is a group of squirrel effigies near 
Montello. Here the elk effigy is surrounded by squirrels, every- 
thing in the group indicating that it was the hunting ground of 
the squirrels. See Figs. 242, 243 and 244. 

A description has been given of the effigies which are scat- 
tered along the edge of the bluffs overlooking Green lake, not 

B a /" r A I o 

^ ^ 






Fig. 2 !tS.— Squirrel Effigies near Montello. 

far from the city of Ripon. We have regarded these as another 
contrivance of the effigy-builders for entrapping game. The group 
is , very interesting and is situated immediately opposite the 
village site of the squirrel clan. At the end of the lake is a 
group which represents two bears chasing a deer. The deer 
effigy in this group, surrounded by the squirrel effigies, is very 
suggestive. See Fig. 244. 

There is one contrivance which the squirrel clan adopted that 
is worthy of notice here. They made two squirrels on a large 
scale, and twisted the tails of the squirrels around near the back, 
(very much as it is twisted in the squirrel effigy on the asylum 
grounds opposite Madison), but between the tail and the body of 
each squirrel, they dug a large pit in the sandy soil, and so made 
a trap for the animals which they would drive from the forests 
towards the pits, into which they would drive them as they ran 
from the forest towards the lake. It is probable that they placed 
timber palisades or brush fences around the traps, and made the 
squirrel effigies serve the double purpose of a totem and a trap. 

The mink clan also had a singular custom. They placed a 
moose on a very high hill, and from the top of this massive 
effigy they watched the squirrel clan chase their game ; the 



two groups being'not so far 
apart but that on a clear 
day they might recognize 
each other, or, at least, 
they could exchange sig- 
nals with one another. We 
are convinced that the clans 
were friendly, for these sig- 
nal stations are scattered all 
over the state ; but the bor- 
der lands between the clans 
may have been common 
property. This finishes up 
the map of the clans, so far 
as they have been identified. 
There may have been other 
clans in the forests to the 
north of the Wisconsin and 
Fox rivers. The effigies on 
the Pine and Lemonweir 
rivers indicate that there 
were clans on both of these 
rivers, and perhaps on the 
Black river and upper Wis- 
consin, but the region has 
not been explored suffi- 
ciently to give their name 
or location. 

III. The enquiry has arisen 
whether any other figures 
besides clan symbols were 
used by the effigy-builders. 
Some have mamtained that 
there are crosses and circles 
and various conventional 
figures, which were signifi- 
cant of sun worship. To 
us it seems improbable. We 
have discovered no sun 
symbol among the effigies, 
though the presence of hu- 
man effigies would suggest 
that anthropomorphic gods 
were mingled with animal 
gods. See Fig 251. Fusion 
of clans may also be repre- 
sented by the combination 
of totem figures. And there 


may be split totems, in which only a part of the animal is repre- 
sented. So there may be sex totems, and private or personal 
totems. Occasionally vegetables, such as the potato, gourd and 
squash, may be used as totems. Weapons also, such as the 
battle-axe and the war-club, are represented in the effigies, but 
the wild hunter tribes rarely reached the stage where the sun 
symbol was used. Still we have discovered one effigy which 
looked very much as if this people were familiar with the emblem 
which was common among the tribes ot sun worshippers. We 
refer to the emblem of the face — the face of the Manitou. We 
discovered in the midst of the group which we have described 
above as belonging to the mink clan, an effigy of the owl. It is 
the figure of an owl with projections above the head, making it 
resemble a horned owl; the eyes were not in the head, but under 

Mg. 21,5.— Owl Mfflyy. 

the wings. They were composed of two small ponds of water, 
which undoubtedly shone with a silver radiance under the light 
of the moon, making the effigy impressive. See Fig. 245. 

There is evidence that the effigy-builders were serpent worshipers. 
We have discovered the serpent effigy in so many places that 
we are inclined to believe that this tribe had the same superstitien 
which was common both among the Mound-builders of Ohio 
and the stone grave people of Tennessee, for this prevalence of 
the serpent effigy is otherwise very difficult to explain. There 
is no doubt of its presence in Ohio, in Illinois, in Dakota, and 
in Wisconsin. We think that the affinity of the effigy-builders 
to the tribes adjoining is shown by this means. It may be that 
the migratory route of the effigy-builders may be traced. We 
give here the cut of the serpent Q^gy which the author discov- 
ered at Quincyf(see Fig. 246), the description of which may be 
found in the chapter on Migrations in the work on "The Mound- 
builders." The effigy is remarkable for two things : It is con- 
formed to the bluff, and is another illustration of the custom 



which was common. It contained skeletons of snakes coiled up 
on the cremated body which was placed in the altar or fire-bed 
at the bottom of the mound, perpetuating the same custom 
which was common among the Basques of burying or throwing 
serpents into a pit, consecrating them to a fire god. 


E LlJFf 




G urN4c: Y 




I H iiii iiu iluiiliiiii iiiiiiri I ill li II riiii iiii'iijij jj ijjj jiiiiiuii uii Si iiii 

Fig. Zlt6— Serpent near Quincy. 

The fact that so many effigies are conformed to the shape of the 
ground shows a repetition of the custom or superstition we have 
termed geomancy, changing the term necromancy to express the 
idea that the earth was possessed by a spirit, the spirit of an animal. 
One such figure was found in a group of effigies three miles from 
the capitol of Madison, It represents 
a lizard placed upon the summit of a 
ridge, its legs upon the spurs, which 
extend upon either side of the ridge, 
the body and tail extending the whole 
length of the ridge. The same pe- 
culiarity is exhibited in the group 
which is represented in Fig. 247. This 
group is situated three miles noith of 
Horicon, It illustrates one point. The 
fancy of the effigy-builders and the 
custom of making the situation set 
off the beauty and symmetry of the 

It should be mentioned here that 
many of the effigies are purely crea- 
tions on which the native artists had 
expended their skill merely from the 
love of art. Some of them are gro- 
tesque, and were perhaps erected for amusement, and others 
are excellent imitations. The following groups are illustrations of 
this : - There are two animals north of Buffalo lake, not far from 
Crooked lake, which resemble squirrels. The platting of these 
effigies brings out the fact that they are not squirrels at all, but 
raccoons. We find in them both nearly the same measurements, 
but as the lines come out on paper we find the crooked legs, the 

Fig. 2!,7—Oroup near Horicon, 



small head, the high curved back, the short belly and the curved, 
bushy tail — all of which are peculiarities of the coon. Near 
these coons we find a turtle — but a turtle in a most novel atti- 
tude, the attitude which a horse assumes when he " racks," two 
legs upon one side thrown forward, two on the other side turned 
back, the whole figure being distorted and twisted as only a 

Fig. ZlS.— Wolf Effigy '"■ear Endeavor. 

turtle can twist. On the west side of Green lake, squirrels ap- 
pear in great numbers ; every one of these squirrels has a differ- 
ent attitude, but an attitude perfectly natural to the animal. 

There is an effigy on the east bank of Lake Mendota, but two or 
three miles from the capitol, which represents an antelope in the 
attitude of jumping. See Fig. 249. The antelope has the head 
partly thrown back, the rump thrown up, the hind legs drawn 
toward the body, very much as any antelope would jump. An 
instantaneous photograph could not take the attitude better than 
did these native artists. Take another instance. There are two 
animals north of Buffalo lake. There is the effigy of a wolf in 


\ . Ly 

/ — ■ 

- -^-^--i><- - 


Fig. 21,9. — Antelope near Madison. 

the vicinity of Merritt's Landing, which shows much skill of 
imitation. It has the proportions very correct. The gigantic 
figure of a mink may be seen in this locality. It is given on a 
small scale in the cut (see Fig. 250), but it is a gigantic figure as 
it lies on the ground. The wonder is that the proportions ot 
the animal could be preserved in an effigy which was seven 
hundred and sixty-five feet long. 

The otter is another figure which is well represented. See 
Plate. The fox also was used by the same clan. This effigy 


was found near Crooked lake, in the midst of a number of bird 
effigies. The moose was used by the mink clan as a symbol as 
well as an ornament; the moose represented in the cut is situ- 
ated on the summit of a high hill overlooking Buffalo lake. It 
commands the view of the group in which the squirrels and the 
elk are numerous on the opposite side of the lake. There is also 
a striking effigy on the north side of this lake, which represents 
the badger. This may have been only a creation of fancy. 

IV. We now turn to the obscure elements in the effigies 
which are not fully understood, and the interpretation of which 
we must acknowledge to be somewhat conjectural. They are 
the features which bring so much confusion into the system of 
clan totems. We think that there was a symbolism among the 
effigy-builders. It was a symbolism connec1,ed with totemism, 
which was a religion by itself. As a religion it had to do with the 
relation of man to animals. The members of the totem clan call 
themselves by the name of the totem whose emblem they carry. 
They believe themselves to be of one blood, descendants of a com- 


Fig. 250. — Mink near MerritPs Landing. 

mon ancestor, and that an animal; they are bound together by 
common obligations to each, and a common faith in the totem. 
Totemism is both a religious and social system — this prevailed 
among wild tribes. The Iroquois have totems, such as the turtle, 
bear and wolf, and imaginethey were descended from bears, wolves 
and turtles. The mythology of the Californians abounds with 
the coyote, and they think they are descendedfrom the coyotes. 
The Delawares descended from the common turtle, which was 
the first of living beings — it bears the world on its back. The 
tribe which built the effigies had a similar totem system, and 
seem to have a general and specific or tribal and clan totem. 
The serpent is an effigy which we conjecture was a general 
totem, either tribal or national, possibly inherited, and so would 
be called a stock totem. ^ 

I. The mingling of the clans in connection with religious cere- 
monies and feasts seems to be recorded in the effigies. Nearly 
all Indian tribes are known to have dances in which they dress 
themselves up like animals and imitate the animal attitudes. 
They call the dance after the names of the animals. Catlin 
speaks of this as common among the Mandans, and has painted 
some of the scenes. The plates in his work exhibit these dances 
and shows the manner in which they imitate the forms of animals. 
In the buffalo dance they wore the horns of buffaloes on their 



heads and assumed the different attitudes of the buffalo while 
they danced. Prof A. W. Williamson says that the Dakotas, 
when they danced, imagined that they were possessed by the 
very spirits of the animals which they imitated.* The pictures 
which are given by Catlin also convey this impression. In these 
pictures we see the Indians taking the attitudes of the animals 
as if they were possessed. They become, for the time, wolves 
and panthers and wild animals. This superstition will account 
for the presence of so many animal figures in connection with 
the clan emblems. They are groups of effigies which seem like 
menageries in pantomime. The animals are not only mute, but are 
motionless. They are transfixed and placed on the soil as if 
arrested in full life, but paralyzed. There is a group of effigies 
on the north side of Lake Mendota which illustrates this point. 
See Fig. 251. Here we see the panther, the mink, the buffalo, 

Mg. SSl.'-Oroup at Lake Mendota. 

fox, wolf, pigeons, man mounds, eagles, the deer, squirrel, and 
many other animals arranged along the shore, without any 
other ostensible object than to make an array of animal figures. 
The most of these figures were used as the emblems of the clans 
surrounding — panther, mink, bear, eagles, pigeons, squirrels, 
while others seem to have been used as prey gods and game 

*The dance I best remember was held in Kaposla (South St. Paul) about the summer of 
1849. Its chief object was the initiation of new members into a secret society, the Wakau 
order, into which only favored individuals were admitted. Members came from many other 
bands. They stated that in some of these dances the dancers actually became, for the time, 
by transmigration of souls, the very animal they worshiped, and involuntarily and necessar- 
ily they imitated them; they acted not as men, but as these animals, while under the spell. 
The buffalo and deer ate grass; panthers, wolves, bears and foxes raced and quarreled over 
the small animals and fishes brought into the enclosure for the purpose, tearing them with 
their teeth and eating them raw. At another time some malignant spirit, it was supposed, 
took possession of tlie one to be initiated; and he must be exorcised and destroyed. So the 
dancers, with guns and bows and arrows, were ready to shoot the evil spirit as soon as the 
signal was given. Whatever the object of worship, whether animal or Dird, tree or stone, 
they were always careful to state that it was not the object itself, but the Wakau, the God 
that was accustomed to haunt the object, which they worshiped. In some cases the soul 
of a departed ancestor had entered into the animal and they worshiped that. They stated 
that the Gods not only haunted the animals, but in an especial manner were present in the 
pictographs and images which represented the animals and which were used in the dances. 
They also spoke of particular localities in which tliey fancied a natural resemblance to some 
object, either animal or other form, and therefore in an especial sense the seat of the God 
or spirit of that animal. In Hudson, Wisconsin, was the home of the Fish God, on account 
of the fish bar; a place near Big Stone lake was the home of the Thunder God; a place on 
Hawk creek, about three miles from its mouth, in Renville County, the home of the Hawk 
God. The same resemblances and superstitions «r/ Kognized in the effigries. 



iigs. zee and 25S.—E^gies on Lake Koshkonong. 



gods, in connection with the game drives of these clans. It is 
possible that this entire group was designed to represent a com- 
bination of different clans in a grand hunt, in which the game, 
either deer or buffaloes, were driven into the water. The effigies 
have been used as screens, behind which the hunters would hide. 
There is a group on the east side of Lake Koshkonong which 
may be designed to perpetuate the same record. See Fig. 252. 
This seems to have been the permanent residence, for there are 
in it look-outs (i), cornfields (2), sacrificial places (4), assembly 
places (5), council houses (7), and burial places (8), all indicating 
permanent occupation, We imagine that the turtle clan was the 
prevailing one, but there are many other effigies in the group 
which we are at a loss to explain, except on the ground that they 
represent different clans. This interpretation is subject to cor- 
rection, but it is the most plausible one we can furnish. 

jFiff, 25/,.—Oame Drive at Shooting Park. 

There is a group of effigies on the opposite side of the lake, 
which is more distinctly a clan emblem. Fig. 253. It consists of 
a number of effigies of panthers and wolves, with two tortoises, 
a number of long mounds, and about a hundred burial mounds. 
One panther seems to be guarding the burial mounds ; another 
seems to form a part of the game drive ; while the wolves may 
have served as screens for hunters. There is a mingling here 
not so much of clan emblems as of offices, difterent uses having 
been made of the effigies. The two groups are opposite one 

2. The record of the hunting places of the people is left upon 
the soil. The dream gods, or game gods, have been mentioned. 
They perform a part in the real life of the Indians hardly 
appreciated by white men. The groups of effigies which we are 
about to describe will show how important a part in the life of 


the effigy-builders. We have said that these people were great 
hunters. Proof of this is given in the number of game drives 
which have been recognized. There is scarcely a clan habitat in 
which there are not several of these game drives, A different 
drive seems to have been used for different kinds of game, such 
as the deer, buffalo, elk, and moose. The game drives generally 
furnish a picture which is very easily interpreted. There is a 
game drive on the north side of Lake Monona, east of Madison, 
between the shooting park and Mill's Woods. It represents the 
buffalo as the game and the bear as the prey god. The eagle, 
pigeon and wild goose are numerous in the vicinity. Fig. 254. 
Nearly all the Indians of the hunter class are known to have 
their dreams, in which animals figure conspicuously. They 
rarely undertake hunting expeditions without dreams. They 

Fi(j. '255— Picture of u Hunting Scene as Conceived by the Ejffigy ■builders. 

went to war under the protection of dream gods. The young 
men were initiated after they had had dreams, and always bore 
the figure of the dream god about their person. All writers 
who are acquainted with the habits of the Indians speak of these 

We think that any one who looks upon the picture given 
herewith (See Fig. 255), and notices the long mounds in proximity 
to these, the effigies of the fox, the bears, the deer, the eagles, 
and the bird, will not fail to see that it is a game drive, and per- 
petuates the superstition which the people had about the different 
animals. We certainly have the prey gods and the game gods, 
and the clan divinities all associated here together. It is a lively 
scene, and one which brings the wild hunters very near to us. 
There is another group also corresponding to this, on the Wis- 
consin river, section 5, town 10, range 7 east, in which the 



buffalo or elk is the game, the swallow is the clan emblem and 
the iox is the prey god. The group at Merritt's Landing shows 
that the mink was the clan emblem, the elk was the game, the 
wolf an J the bear the prey gods. These groups are so numer- 
ous and convey the idea to us so plainly that we have not a 
doubt of the correctness of the interpretation. 

3. There is a class of earth-works and effigies which is very 
common in the state, and which is repeated in nearly every 
clan habitat. We refer to those long lines of mounds which 
resemble earth walls broken into fragments, with openings 
between them. They are generally built upon the summit of 
high bluffs and run the entire length of the ridges. They may 
have been used for the purpose of watching game, and been 
raised above the level of the surface so as to give an unobstructed 
view. There is no class of mounds more numerous than this. 
We have discovered one such line near Potosi. It has the effigy 


w I 

777 ^S TfJt^SlyS 



IFoad To ^C 


old Farnaces 

Fig. '2i>G. — MouncU near Potosi. 

«r <• • 

of a panther at one end. This panther is surrounded by the 
holes which were left from the old lead mines. Fig. 256. The 
line extends from this point for two or three miles until it 
reaches the edge of the blufT, which overlooks the Mississippi 
river. Another similar line was discovered on the bluff just 
north of Governor Dewey's house, which is now in ruins, on land 
belonging to General Newberry, of Chicago. This land runs 
parallel to the river for two or three miles and commands a view 
of it throughout the whole length. Another line is situated on 
a bluff above Wyalusing, near the mouth of the Wisconsin river. 
Still another, near Bridgeport, six njiles above the mouth of the 
Wisconsin river. A similar line may be seen north of Lake 
Koshkonong. Still another on the south shore of Lake Puck- 
away, near Marquette. All of these overlook some group of 
mounds situated on the lower lands, but command extensive 
views. One interpretation which has come to us is, that they 
were designed for hunters, as roadways by which they could run 
while watching the game, which were driven down to the villages 
and hemmed in between the game drives and there shot, or road- 



ways so sentinels or watchmen could run from their lookout 
stations toward the villages. Either supposition is plausible, for 
they generally have a lookout point at one end and overlook 
the villages or game drives at the other end. They could hardly 
have been used as screens or barriers to intercept game, for 
many of them are erected along the edge of some narrow cliff or 
ridge, over which it would be impossible to drive the game. 

There are, to be sure, a few lines of mounds resembling these, 
which have been placed along the edge of bluffs, overlooking 
the rivers, which remind us of the custom of the Indian hunters, 
of making fences of brush with gaps or openings, through which 
they would drive the deer. One such barrier or screen is located 

Fig. S57. -Battle-field. 

on the Wisconsin river, between the bridge to Muscoda and 
Orion, scattered along at intervals between the long mounds. 
Many so-called screens have been noticed as built along the 
edge of swamps and lakes, close to the water. These are formed 
from long mounds and effigies. Their object is plain. They 
were designed for the sportsmen, who would hide behind them 
and shoot into the flocks of gesse and ducks which were floatmg 
on the water. One such screen has been noticed at White lake, 
near Lake Mills. Occasionally effigies are seen along the edge 
of swails, which would be feeding places for deer and elk. 
These were also used as screens. They were mechanical con- 
trivances, but the clan emblem, or the emblem of the game itself, 
would constitute the screen. These were all contrivances of the 
hunter, designed for different kinds of game. They show great 
familiarity with the habits of the animals which were hunted. 
For this reason we think our interpretation of the long mounds 
is a correct one. 

4. Another class of effigies, concerning which there is some 
obscurity, consists of parallel rows of long mounds, round 
mounds and effigies. It is a question whether these were used 



for game drives, burial places, or to mark the scene of some 
battle. The figure given illustrates the class. See Fig. 257. 

This group is situated on the level prairie, but five miles notrh 
of Richmond Centre, on the Wisconsin river, one mile south of 
Sextonville. There are effigies half a mile north and garden- 
bed half a mile south of this group. We have called it a battle- 
field, though it may have been used as a game drive. Some of 
the game drives have long mounds, with round mounds scat- 
tered at intervals, making them seem like tally strings. 

Fig. SI. — Citadel. 

5. There is a class of effigies which we shall mention as the 
one which is most thoroughly baffling to interpretation. It con- 
sists of a cluster of effigies arranged about an area so as to make 
a quasi enclosure. These clusters are frequently placed at the 
end of a long line of effigies. They remind us of the rock in- 
scriptions in Arizona. They seem to be symbolic. Our con- 
jecture is that they mark the place of some ceremony or relig- 
ious feast, or of some council house, and are suggestive of some 
secret society. A specimen is given in the cut. This, as will 
be seen, consists of four or five mounds, which surround an 
effigy mound. There are round mounds at -the end of the wings 



of the effigy. The group is situated on an isolated swell of 
ground, and covers the entire spot. It is situated at the end of 
a line of swallows, which is the clan emblem of the region. 
The impression is that it was the place for the celebration of some 
mystery. It is, perhaps, only another of those clusters which 
Mr. S. Taylor calls citadels. There are many of these works 
scattered over the state. Their object is still unknown. Many 
of these so-called citadels (see Fig. 258) are placed upon high 
ground and command an extensive view. This one is upon low 
ground, but is isolated from the surrounding region by dry 
channels upon either side. There is a high mound at the other 
end of the long line of effigies which commands a view down the 
river. It is said that signals could be exchanged between this 
and Boscobel, some five miles away. 

Fig. 259.— Picture Writing, Tennessee. 

6. The last point which we shall bring out is, that there 
may have been a kind of picture writing embodied in some 
of the groups. This may be a mere conjecture, but there are so 
many groups which can be explained in no other way. We 
would here call attention to the rock inscriptions which have 
been recently discovered in Tennessee. See Fig. 259. These in- 
scriptions are composed mainly of animal figures. The figures 
are in rows; they differ from the ordinary inscriptions in this 
respect. There are other rock inscriptions which contain ani- 
mals in all sorts of attitudes. The comparison between some of 
the groups of effigies and these rock inscriptions is very sug- 
gestive; no key has yet been found to unlock the mystery; they 
have not been interpreted. So with the effigies, they contain a 
record for which there is no key. We leave these groups unex- 
plained. They seem to embody the history of the different clans 
— at least the totems of the difterent clans arranged around one 
another in such a way as to be very expressive. The language 
is not understood, yet they are strained almost to the point of 
utterance. We can hardly regard them as mere works of fancy. 
There is an unknown record in then? %^hich baffles interpretation. 




We have in previous papers given a description of the effigy- 
mounds — their shapes, attitudes, locations, and have undertaken 
to explain their object and interpret their significance, but have 
not heretofore undertaken to compare them with the work of 
anj' other prehistoric people. The recent appearance of two 
volumes from the Ethnological Bureau, one of which gives a 
description of the mounds, the other the Dakota myths, leads 
us to institute such a comparison, with a thought that it may 
furnish us with a key to certain unsolved problems which have 
been presented by the effigies. These problems have relation 
(i) to the area of the tribe which built the effigies; (2) to the 
religious system which led to their erection; (3) the question 
whether the effigies contained any record of the people ; (4) the 
question of the clan life and its resemblance to modern clans. 
There are other problems which we do not expect to entirely 
clear up ; but we believe that the study which has been given to 
the effigies, taken as a whole, and the comparison of the system 
contained in them will have removed the mystery which has 
heretofore covered them, and that a satisfactory basis may be 
reached, on which we may build the record of the prehistoric age. 

I. We shall begin with the consideration of the tribal area of 
the effigy-builders. 

1. This people were situated in the state of W^isconsin, a 
state which in many respects resembles the state of New York, 
especially in the fact that there are so many beautiful inland 
lakes within its borders. 

2. The effigy-builders seem to have been composed of a sin- 
gle tribe who held supreme sway in this state for a long time 
during the prehistoric age, and here developed their social life 
free from interference from other tribes. 

3. The area of the effigy builders corresponded with the area 
known to have been occupied by the Winnebagoes as late as the 
beginning of the settlements by the whiles. 

4. Effigies are found in Iowa and Minnesota, showing that 
the people were at peace with the people who were then occu- 
pying that region. This confirms what we have said about the 
Winnebagoes, for they were a branch of the Dakotas and were at 
peace with them. 

5. The custom of building effigies in stone prevailed in the 


region occupied by the Dakotas, making it probable that this 
wide-spread stock were the actual effigy-builders. 

6. The comparison of the effigies to the inscriptions con- 
tained in the caves of Iowa show a remarkable resemblance, 
making it probable that the same general people left their rec- 
ords in the entire region. 

These are the points which are brought out by recent discov- 
eries. They confirm what we have already said in reference to 
the effigy-builders, and we shall, therefore, take them up in 
their order. 

I. Let us first take up the location of the different groups out- 
side of the state. 

It is due to Mr. T. H. Lewis that these groups have been 
brought to light, and we shall refer to his descriptions and quote 
them^'in detail. Mr. Lewis says on examining the delineations 
very important differences in class and style from those farther 
east are discernible. These differences, however, are not such 

as lO conflict with what we 

have said, for the same ani- 

I ^^ ^f^^^i ,^A^ mals are represented and 
^_.^^^^# i <^^^^^^ ^^^ effigies are built in the 

^^^^^^^ ^^ same way, and prove to be 

^^^P ^^HM^^b ^^^ totems of the very same 

^^^^^ ~~^ We shall begin with the 

, ^ ^ ,^- group opposite LaCrescent. 

mg.ZGO.— Effigies near LaCrescent, Minn. ~; ^. ^^ ^ „, . 

See Fig. 2DO. This group 
was situated on a terrace above the Mississippi River. It 
consists of a number of round mounds. Among them is an 
effigy of a Iroof. Near it is the effigy of a bird, and within a 
quarter of a mile there are five other bird effigies and sixty- 
nine round mounds. The frog is about ninety-eight feet long. It 
is near the site of Hokah, on the Root River, (Heyokah is the 
name of a Dakota divinity). He is represented in a sprawling 
attitude. Its full length is sixty-two feet. 

There are two bird effigies on a terrace some lo feet below 
this, and formerly there existed several other effigies, 30 or 40 
round mounds and several embankments. Near Richmond 
Station, on a terrace 24 feet above the river, is a bird effigy with 
wings spread, measuring 76 feet from tip to tip and 44 feet from 
head to tail, and a number of ordinary mounds in the vicinity. 
Near the village of Dakota,, Minnesota, also on a terrace, is the 
effigy of a fish with fins in the midst of 19 ordinary mounds. 
It measures 1 10 feet in length and 2}^ feet in height. Mr. Lewis 
says this is the only fish t^gy in which the fins are visible. 

These effigies are opposite Trempeleau County, Wisconsin, 
and may help us to decide as to the totem of the clan which 
dwelt there. Judge Gale, of Galesville, states that there are 



about one thousand effigies in the county, but he does not spec- 
ify what animals are imitated. We may say that the frog is 
rather an unusual effigy, but the birds resemble those to be 
found on the Lemonwier River, where the pigeon clan is sup- 
posed to have had its habitat. 

These are all of the localities in the state of Minnesota in 
which effigies have been recognized. Mr. Lewis, however, found 
several localities in Northeastern Iowa, the very region in which 
the cave inscriptions were discovered. The first group which 
he has discovered was at MacGregor, opposite Prairie du Chien. 
This group stretches along the line of the bluff, which forms 
the dividing ridge between two streams. The bluff is 500 feet 
high and rises perpendicularly above the Mississippi River. 
The Yellow River is to the northwest and the Bloody Run is 


Scat* 0/ /ff*f izsrona. 


Mg. S61. — Effigies near MacChregor, Jowa. 

to the southwest of this ridge. The row of mounds consists ot 
two long embankments, one 190 feet long, 18 feet wide, the 
other 130 feet long and 18 teet wide, and ten clumsy but tailless 
animals, which were probably designed to represent the bear. 
They vary from 79 to 109 feet in length and from 2 to 3 fee 
in height. These birds resemble the swallow effigies (see Fig. 261) 
which are found in such great numbers in Crawford County, 
Wisconsin, and the animals resemble the bear effigies which are 
found in the same region. The swallow was the clan emblem 
or totem of the people who lived between the Wisconsin and 
Mississippi Rivers. Mr. Lewis says that near Mr. McGill's, 
three miles above Clayton, there is a group of ninety-two 
mounds, two of which represent animals, two birds ; the remain- 
der are round mounds and embankments.* There are also three 

•The surveyors of the Ethnological Bureau discovered in the same region several elk 
eiSgies. Thev had horns projecting forward, very much as elk carry their norns, a style of 
representing them which is peculiar to this particular region. 



birds which have their wings spread and their heads near the 
ed"-e of the bluff. He visited also the group of mounds situated 
on^the Minnesota (St. Peter's) River, (N. W. %, S. 26, T. 313, 
R. 2, E.) which Mr. William Pigeon in his famous book has 
called the black tortoise group. He says the central figure cor- 
responds with the description given by Mr. Pigeon. It is the only 
one out of all of the groups which were described that could be 
identified. He says that the location of the majority of the 
mounds was incorrectly given. The account is entirely unre- 

Mr. Lewis also visited several localities in Northern Illinois. 
The following is the list of effigies here: (i.) The well known 
turtle mound which is situated within the city limits of Rock- 
ford, west side. Its length 
is 184 feet, its height from 
3 to 4 feet. Near it is a 
bird effigy and seven round 
mounds and two embank- 
ments. (2.) On the east 
side of the river, five miles 
below Rockford (on N. W. 
% Sec. 14. T. 43, R. I E.), 
is a group of three embank- 
ments, two round mounds 
and a bird effigy. The size 
of the bird is 45 teet long, 
68 feet across the wings. 
The group is on a bank 
■Fig.26z-Efflgies in Illinois* forty- five feet above the 

river. See Fig. 262. (3.) Near the village of Hanover, in Jo 
Davies County is a group of twenty-three round mounds, ten 
embankments and a large animal effigy measuring 216 feet in 
length, height about 5 feet. There is an embankment running 
out from the foreleg of the animal 170 feet long. See Fig. 262. 
Ten miles east of Freeport on the north side of the Pecatonica 
River (S. E. % Sec. 13, T. 27, R. g E.) is a group consisting of 
seven round mounds, an embanknT^nt and an animal effigy meas- 
uring 1 16 feet in length. Fig. 262, No. 3. These groups evidently 
belong to the same clans as were located m Wisconsin — the tur- 
tle at Rockford to the turtle clan whose center was at Beloit, 
the large quadruped near Hanover to the bear clan, which was 
located near to the Blue Mounds. (4.) Mr. Lewis describes the 
groups of effigies on the Fox River, near Aurora. One group 
consists of several round mounds and two effigies representing 
birds, one a duck, the other probably an owl, as it has horns 

♦The outline figure of the buffalo is one which was found by Mr. T. H. Lewis near 
some lodg circles in Dakota, and altcrwards visited bv the agents of the survey. It repre- 
sents the custom of erecting totems near the lodges or villages, and was probably a clan 
rather than an individual totem. It contrasts with earth effigies, yet has the ammal shape. 



above the head. See No. 2. The second group consisted 
of two bird effijies, one elliptical mound and thirteen rDund 
mounds. These two groups are situated on a terrace north of 
the city limits. They mark the southeast limits of the effigy 
mounds, but show that the eiifigy-builders followed the streams 
and m?ide their habitats in the valleys of the streams. 

2. We would here refer to the fact that according to all explorers 
the construction ot these effigies is exactly the same. The 
quadrupeds have projections on one side which represent the 
legs, and occasionally two small projections at the head for the 
ears or horns. The amphibious creatures always have four equal 
projections for the legs, and frequently have one for the head.* 
The birds are constructed with projections at either side, which 

Mff. i63.—E!ffigies of Quadrupedn brought to a Scale.f 

represent their wings, and very seldom have their legs visible. 
Furthermore, the beauty, symmetry and life like resemblance 
of these effigies impress those who see them as do the effigies 
within the state. The agreement is important, for it confirms the 
points which have l^een taken by the writer, though it brings 
out one or two additional features, especially in reference to the 
manner of representing the legs of the animals. Mr. Lewis 
says it is probable that each leg as built was intended to repre- 
sent a pair of legs rather than a single one. The report says 
that in some of the effigies in Grant County, Wisconsin, each 
leg was divided into two by a slight depression, as it the intent 

* This is uniformly the method wherever the effigies are found, whether in Ohio, in 
Georgia or in Wisconsin. 

t I'hese effigies were measured by tlie writer, when in company with Dr. Thomas and a 
party of surv>yurs, but were platted independently. Tliey represent the male and female 
Dear at Hazen's Corners. The m.iose ettiiiy was found on the bluff all 've Wy^hising. A 
similar nioose was afterward found near Merritt's Landing, also on a bluff overlookinar the 
lalce. Two ot the buffalo effigies weie found in the same region, on the north side ol Buffalo 
Lake, the name and the effii<ies rema kably corresponding. The two smaller buflalos were 
found near Mineral Springs, and represent the male and female buffalo. '1 he line of em- 
bankments in the cut represents, on a small scale, a line which was discovered near liussy 
ville, north of Lake Koshkonong. It represents part o( a game-drive, thi lo ikout and the 
elevated runway or roadway for hu&ters, which was connected with a game-drive near the 


was to make the projection represent the two legs. In reference 
to the shape of the head and the division of the ears the report 
agrees with the testimony of Mr. Lewis and that of the author. 
These are sometimes plainly represented and help us to identify 
the animal, though the distinction between the horns and the 
ears is not easily recognized in some of the effigies.* 

The report further says. "The feeling for correct form is indi- 
cated by the outline which defines the forehead by the curves of 
the back and belly; and of the gambol joints of the legs, as well 
as by the relief which expresses the rotundity and relative 
prominence of the parts." This agreement in the testimony of 
the explorers is important. It shows that there are no great 
differences between the effigies on the two sides of the river. It 
shows further that the descriptions which we have already given 
of the beauty and variety of the effigies were correct.f 

2. Now in reference to these groups of effigies we make this 
point, that they only extend the area of the tribe a little way 
beyond the state, but do not break the unity of the system. 
From them we learn the exact boundaries of the habitat of the 
effigy-builders and find that it corresponds most remarkably 
with the boundaries of the territory of the Winnebago tribe, 
and not only this, but they correspond with the location of the 
Winnebago villages. J 

Still we must remember that there were effigies in other states 
— two bird effigies in Georgia; an alligator at Granville, Ohio; 
and a quadruped on the Scioto River; bird track at Newark; 
a serpent effigy in Adams County; a thunder-bird in Clermont 
County. Mr. Lewis thinks he has discovered effigies on the 
Missouri River and in Minnesota. These effigies are all made 
after the same plan as those in Wisconsin — the birds with pro- 
tions on two sides, the alligators with two projections on each 
side, the quadrupeds with two projections on one side, serpedts 
with no projections, but with tortuous bodies. 

The most of these effigies were placed upon hill-tops over- 

*We would refer here to the figures of the moose an ' bear effigies as compared 
with the moose discovered by Mr. lewis near the town of Hanover, Illinois The plat- 
ting brings out the peculiar shapes of the bear effigies and shows the variety of expression 
which was given to them. The same figures are given in the report, but they fail to 
bring out the attitudes. 

fWe here refer to the celebrated elephant effigy, which has been so often visited and 
furnished so much material for disc ussion in reference to the age of the mound-builders. 
The members of the Ethnological Bureau have surveyed this effiirv and produced a cast 
of it for the exposition at New Orleans. This survey confirms what we have said about the 
effigy. It is a gigantic figure ot the clan totem of the region, which was the bear. We first 
mentioned the buffalo and bear as associated together, and were not certain as to which 
was represented. Subsequent exploration satisfied us that it was the bear. 

$There were Winnebago villages laid down on. the early maps, especially in Farmer's 
map, at several of the places where these groups have been discovered. Furthermore, the 
trail which was followed bv General Long in his early exploring expedition crossed the 
various rivers, such as Fox, Rock, Pecatonica and the Mississippi, at the very points 
where these groups are situated, and the map of the expedition contains a reco'd of the 
mounds at these very points. Mr Lewis, to be sure, thinks he has discovered effigies on 
the Missouri River and on the Crow ^ ing- River, 150 miles distant, and he fixes the limits 
of the effigies at these points. The territory of the effigy-builders did not, however, extend 
to these points, but these are detached from the tribal area, just as are the great serpent 
and alligator mound in Ohio and the serpent mound near Quincy, 111. 



looking river valleys. They show in their location, as well as 
in their shapes and manner of construction, that they were built 
by the same or a similar people as the effigies of Wisconsin 
were, and render it probable that the ancestors of the effigy- 
builders originally had their seats upon the Ohio River, and 
before that, east of the AUeghenies. This is in accord with the 
traditions of the Dakotas that their ancestors formerly dwelt 
on the Ohio, and many hundred years ago migrated westward. 
3. The resemblance of the effigies to the rock inscriptions is to 
be considered. We have spoken of the fish effigies. There are 
many figures of fishes in the sides of the pictured caves ot Iowa; 
also figures of deer in the caves of Wisconsin. These are made 


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SCICT, cOUMTr cms. CK^ M'Mul.Ky S^^^.t *<t. 


Fig. 261,.— Quadruped Kffigy near Portsmouth^ Ohio. 

with more regard to the details of fins and horns than was pos- 
sible m the case of the effigies; but there is, nevertheless, a 
striking resemblance. There are deer effigies at Madison in 
which the two horns and the four legs are visible, and elk effigies 
in Grant County m which the projecting horns are plamly seen. 
There are also some fish effigies on the west shore of Lake 
Koshkonong which have the fins as plainly marked as these in 
Minnesota. Moreover, these fish effigies resemble the inscrip- 
tions found in the caves of Eastern Iowa, giving the idea that 
they were erected by the same people as those who left the 
inscriptions. Possibly they were both designed to be pictographs 
which contain the record of successful fishing, or the claim of the 
clan to the fishing ground. 

There are also fish effigies at Delevan Lake and Lake Monona, 
and the west side of Lake Koshkonong, localities where there 
are good fishing grounds at the present time. The particular 
kind of fish is not discoverable in the effigies, for they are 
so worn by the elements. But so far as they have been recognized 
they are the same as those which still abound in the lakes. This 



constitutes one point of difference between the effigies and the 
pictographs. The pictographs contain the figures of suckers, 
red-horse and buffalo, species which abound in the Mississippi 
River; while the effigies seem to represent pickerel, which abound 
in the lakes. See Figs, 260 and 265. 

4. The history of the Winnebago tribe is next to be consid- 
ered. The earliest that is known of this people is that at the 
time of Nicolet's first visit, in 1634, they were situated at Red 
Banks, near Green Bay. They were afterwards called Puants 
by the French missionaries, but by the Algonquins, Winnepe- 
koak, which means people of the fetid water, "winne,", "water," 
and '•pekoak," "foul." The proper meaning is "salt water." 
And it is believed that they once reached the salt water. They 
were a branch of the Dakotas and were, less than a thousand 
years ago, a part of the same people.* Allouez says that in 

Mg. S65.—Fish in Pictured Cave, Iowa. 

Fig £66.— Deer in Pictured 
Cave in Wisconsin. 

1640 they had almost been destroyed by the Illinois. But he 
found the Ojibwas in council whether to take up arms against 
them. They had long held their position and were on good 
terms with the Mascoutens, Menominees, Ottawas, Chippewas, 
and Pottawattamies, who lived in different parts of the state, and 
held it as a common possession between them. Paul Lejeune, 
in speaking of the tribes 'that dwelt on Lake Michigan, says, 
"still farther on dwell the Ouinipegon, who are very numerous." 
"In the neighborhood of this nation are the Naduessi (Sioux), 
and the Assiniponais (Assiniboines). 

Green Bay was occupied by the Menominees and Sauks, 
and the adjacent Lake Winnebago by the Winnebagoes, which 
was a great centre of population. Allouez and Dablon paddled 
up to Lake Winnebago and the mouth of Upper Fox, which 
they ascended to visit the town of Mascutens. At the time of 
Carver's visit in 1766, he found a village at Red Banks, though 
the band had moved westward and had their villafje on the Wis- 
consin River. 

Jedediah Morse in 1820 says that they had five villages on 

*Dr. S. R. Riggs, in contributions to North American Ethnology, Vol. ix. p. 189. 


the lake and fourteen villages on Rock River. The Menominees 
had villages at Buttes des Morts. at Winreconne and Poygan. 
The VVinnebagoes paid a tribute of corn, potatoes and pumpkins 
to the Menominees for the privilage of staying on their territory. 
Oshkosh was the home of a band under Pushan, whose planting 
ground was at Algoma. A band with 300 lodges lived at Black 
Wolf, on Wolf River, the town taking the name from the Potta- 
wottamie chief The Menominee chief was called Pouwagumau 
in 1795, elected chief in 1821 and died in 18^8. The name 
Oshkosh* means hoof or toe-nail. The V/innebagoes in 1831 
joined the Black Hawks, and soon after ceded all the lands 
south of the Fox River. They were removed to the Turkey 
River in Eastern Iowa, but have never really given up their orig- 
inal domain, and they still make their home in the forest be- 
tween the Wisconsin and Fox Rivers. 

This history is important, for it identifies the ancient seat of 
the Winnebagos with the habitat of the effigybuildeis and en- 
ables us to draw the difference between the Algonquin and 
Dakota tribes. The Algonquins had a totem system which 
resembled that of the Dakotas in some respects. But they did 
not build effigies or erect standing stones or place any such 
record on the soil. The Algonquin tribes, such as the Potto- 
wattamies and Menominees, occupied the state in common with 
the Winnebagoes. But their villages, cornfields and fishing camps 
can be easily distinguished from the tokens of the effigy-builders, 
for there was a great difference between them. The history 
also helps us to identify the location of the villages with those 
of the groups of effigies, for there were Winnebago villages even 
as late as 1837, when the first settlement of Wisconsin began, at 
nearly all of the points where the most prominent groups of 
effigies are located, at Beloit, Lake Koshkonong, Lake ?.iendota, 
Lake Winnebago, Red Bank, near Green B ly, Sauk Prairie, on 
the Wisconsin, and near Marquette, on the Upper Fox, 

II. The comparison of the religion of the effigy builders with 
that which we know to have been the religion of the Dakotas 
is another important point. 

I. As to the prevalence of serpent worship, we have shown 
that there were serpent effigies in Ohio, Illinois, Minnesota, 
Wisconsin and Dakota, and that all of these were situated along 
the hne of migration, which, according to the tradition of the 
Dakotas, was followed by their ancestors on reaching their later 
seats on the Mississippi and Upper Missouri Rivers. This tribe, 
according to the testimony of Dr. Horatio Hale, was once 
located southeast of the AUegheney Mountains in North Caro- 
lina, Virginia and Eastern Tennessee, but they gradually passed 
over the Ohio Valley and down that river to the Valley of the 
Mississippi River, 

*See history of Oshkosh. Also history of Winnebago Co. 


We may conclude from this that the Winnebagoes were not only 
effigy-builders, but that they were serpent worshipers, and that 
these various serpents were their work. This seems to be con- 
firmed by tradition and aboriginal history ; for there is a tradi- 
tion among the Delawares and Iroquois that "the great snake 
people" formerly dwelt along with another people called Allig- 
hewi, on the Ohio River, and that their ancestors after a long and 
bloody battle drove them from their seats and took possession of 

Fig. 267.— Serpent in Pictured Cave, Iowa. 

their territory. Now this remarkable correspondence between 
the tradition and the record of the effigies is worthy of notice; 
for it brings up another point. 

2. We have shown that the serpent effigies in Wisconsin present 
he same peculiarities as do the great serpent in Adams County, 
Ohio, the serpent effigy near Quincy. 111., and the serpent made 
of standing stones discovered in Dakota. They are conformed 
to the shape of the ground on which they are located, and bring 
out the resemblance of the cliffs or bluffs to the serpent, which 
was recognized by the builders of the effigies. We do not 
know that this peculiar conception or fashion was followed by 
any other tribe, though it was a common supposition among all 
the tribes that whenever any object in nature presented any 
resemblance to an animal, that that object was haunted by the 
animal spirit, and so was feared as a divinity. But the fashion 
of erecting an effigy at the place was followed only by the peo- 
ple who migrated along this route and who left their serpent 
effigies on the hill-tops as signs of their presence. We do not 
say that the habit of recognizing the resemblance and connecting 
a myth with the place was confined to this people, for there 
are localities all over Europe and Asia where local myths accom- 

Fig. 268.— Serpent in Pictured Cave, Iowa. 

pany such places. And even Homer speaks of the serpent and 
the bird which were transformed into stone and their shape 
perpetuated by the stone image which was familiar to the Greeks. 
It is not the conception to which we refer here, but the corres- 
pondence of the traditionary route of the Dakotas with the 
location of the effigies which embody it. 

Did the Winnebagoes adopt the snake for their general tribal 
divi nity ? Or did they use the effigy as a symbol of a more gen- 



eral divinity — the symbol of rhe nature powers, such as the 
Jain or h'ghtning?* This question we shall not undertake to 
answer, but shall only refer to the fact that the serpent was a 
common effigy throughout this entire region, and serpent wor- 
ship was an important element in the religion of all the effigy- 
builders, wherever they were. 

3. The surrounding of their forts with serpent effigies is an- 
other point. We have spoken of Ft. Ancient as having the ser- 
pent effigy embodied in its walls. There is, according to the re- 
port of the Ethnological Bureau, an enclosure in Pipestone Co., 
Minn., which has two crescent shaped embankments, each of the 
embankments being in the shape of a tortuous serpent. The 
circumference is 2.386 feet. Inside of the enclosure is a mound 
twenty feet in diameter and four feet high. There is a bastion- 
like enlargement to the wall and two openings or gateways to 
the enclosure. Now it is 
remarkable that the small 
enclosure or circular earth- 
work which we discovered 
at Mineral Springs, near 
Utley's Quarries, Wiscon- 
sin, has its walls in the 
same tortuous shape as this 
one in Pipestone County, 
See Fig. 269. The measure- 
ments, which were carefully 
made, indicate that the 
bends in the serpent were more regular and uniform than those in 
the larger enclosure. Mr. Lewis has discovered many serpent 
effigies in Minnesota. These are important facts, for they bring 
out the point. This confirms what we have said elsewhere about 
the sense of protection which was enjoyed by the effigy builders 
in connection with the serpent. It was not merely an object of 
fear and a place to be avoided; but the serpent effigy was a 
familiar form which was as sacred and dear as any other animal 
tokens, and its effigy was mingled with the animal effigies mdis- 
criminately. We refer here to the fact that there are many serpent 
figures in caves of Iowa, and these resemble in appearance the 
serpent effigies in Wisconsin. Some of them appear to be 
rattlesnakes, others are without rattles. We give cuts of two 
of these taken from Mr. Lewis' drawings, and will call attention 

liHg. H69.— Serpent Rinys near Mineral Springs.f 


discovered in Grant County 

to the resemblance to the 
and Green Lake County. 

4. It is noticable that the Dakotas had a system of mythology 
which embraced serpent worship. The Hidatsa make occa- 
sional offerings to the great serpent that dwells in the Missouri 

•For this !=ee Twelfth Ai nual Report, Bureau < f E'hnn] gy. las' ^ hapier. 
+ At this place a stream, which falls into the ground above the spring, bursts out again, 
suggesting the idea of the serpent divinity, which was a subaqueous or subteranean god. 



River by placing poles in the river, attaching to them sundry- 
robes or colored blankets. It is probable that the robe which 
Hennepin saw and took away from near St. Anthony's Falls was 
an offering to the same divinity. The Mandans and the Winne- 
bagos both had a tradition about a certain youth who was 
changed into a huge serpent. 

Oonktaha is the god of the waters. His external form is 
said to resemble the ox or buffalo, though his horns and tail 
reach to the skies. The dwelling place of the male is in the 
water ; the spirit of the female animates the earth. One of these 
gods, it is believed, dwells under the Falls of St. Anthony.f These 
divinities have been described by Rev. A. L. Riggs, J. O. Dorsey, 
Rev. Gideon Pond, Mrs. Eastman and Miss Alice Fletcher.J The 

f if/. 270 — Thunder-Bird and Lightning God. 

following is the description given by Mr. Riggs: Wakinya is the 
god of thunder, or the thunder bird. He is represented with 
drooping wings § 

There are four varieties. One is black with a long beak, four 
joints in his wing; another yellow, who has six quills; a third, 
scarlet, which has eight joints; the fourth is blue, and has 
semi-circular lines for eyebrows, from beneath which shoot down- 
wards two chains of zigzag lightning.|| This divinity dwells in a 
lodge on a beautiful mound, which has a doorway toward each 
of the cardinal points, with a watcher at each door — a butterfly 
at the east, a bear at the west, a reindeer at the north and a beaver 
at the south. 

♦Maximillian Travels in N. A., p. ?6g. Bourke's Study of Siouan Cults, p. 508 

tThe Winnebagoes had a clan which was called Vne'^Va^/cei^i. They beiieve that there 
are subterranean and aquatic p jwers which dwell under the ground and in the high bluffs, 
as well as in subterranean water, and that they uphold the earth, trees, rivers, and are the 
enemies of the thunder beings. They have Img bodies, with horns on their heads, (bee 
Eleventh Annual Keport.) The thunder beings aie birds called IVa^a/rara One of the 
divisions of the bird gens is a thunder being sub-gens. This accounts for the serpent effigies 
which are found upon the summits of tortuous bluffs. They rep.esent a mythologic divin- 
ity which was common among some of the Dakota tribes, though among them it was a sub- 
aquatic buffalo instead of a serpent. l v u « 

{The mythologies of the Winnebagoes seem to be less known than any other branch ot 
the Dakotas. 

gGospel among the Dakotas, by Rev. S. R. Riggs, D. D. 

ilThis reminds us of the Omowuh, the rain cloud of the Moquis. 


The moving god, Tu-ku-skan, lives in the four winds. His 
symbol is the boulder. To his retinue belong the buzzard and 
raven, fox and the wolf. The Toonkan, the stone god, dwells 
in the boulders and his symbol is the round or oval boulder, 
about the size of a man's head. The Heyoka,* the anti- 
natural god, assumes the human form. He is armed with bow 
and arrow, but has various animals, such as frogs and birds, 
flying from his bow. He is represented as having two heads, or 
a cap with two peaks. This agrees with the testimony of J. O. 
Dorsey. He adds that the messengers of Unktehi* are serpents, 
serpents, lizards, frogs, owls and eagles. He also mentions the 
horned water nionsters, called Wahmenitu, the god of the water. 
This monster has four legs. Its backbone is like a cross-cut 

Fig. Z71.—Male g,nd Female Water Divinity. \ 

saw. It has red hair all over and one eye. They think that it 
causes the ice in the river to break up in the spring of the year. 
The thunder gods are birds of terrific proportions. They 
created the wild rice and prairie grass. J 

It is very remarkable that there are pictographs or rock in- 
scription in eastern Iowa which embody these very myths, and 
these can be identified with the particular Gods of the Dakotas.§ 
One of these has the shape of an immense bird with drooping 
wings, and with a serpent shooting out from the head. The 
feathers in the wings were probably intended to symbolize the 
rain, and the serpent to symbolize the lightning. Another of 
these is in the shape of a massive human face, with horns rising 
above the face. Another figure designed to represent the same 
god has the horns very prominent, the rude semblance of a face, 

•Gonktayha is Dr. Rigcrs' spelling. , . .. a: ■ t^u 

t These are from the rock inscriptions, but they may be compared to the ertipies. J he 

effigy near Aurora has horns and body like one of these. There are wings or arms in the 

effigy, but they are lacking in the inscribed figure. Fig. 262. The Unktehi are subaqueoui 

and subteranean beings ,.,,,., ., ,. n ^ d t c-.u 

JSue American Antiquarian, Vol. II., No. 4, p. 270. Also nth Report Bureau of tth- 

gTliese have already been described in the work on Myths and Syrabols and Personal 



and a figure which may be intended for the body. These pos- 
sibly may represent the male and female — the abode of the male 
is the water, and the female, the earth. 

In Reno Cave, Houston County, Minn., is a figure which repre- 
sents a man with large hands; a body in the conventional way; a 
disk in the center of the body, and a crooked head — the hands 
representing the clouds, the crooked head, the lightning, the 
disk, the sun. In Lamoille Cave in Minnesota is a figure of a 
man with upraised arms. The upper parts of the arms are in 
shapes of trees or plants. See Fig. 272. These figures evidently 
embody the mythology of the Dakotas, and were probably made 
by the Winnebagoes. The comparison of certain effigies with these 

pictographs proves quite suggestive. To il- 
lustrate : There is an effigy in Clermont Coun- 
ty, Ohio, which seems to represent the thunder 
bird or Wakinya. This effigy is situated upon 
a hill-top overlooking a series of earth-works 
or enclosures, and is itself contained within an 
enclosure whose gateways are all guarded by 
double walls. It has the shape of a bird with 
outspread wings and is furnished with four 
projections on either side to represent the 
plumes, the whole enclosure with its elaborate 
gateways and its lofty situation and the effigy 
within it conveying the same impression — that 
the bird was held sacred by the builders, 
add to this, one more, namely, the man with two 
heads, which was discovered by Mr. Taylor on the banks of the 
Wisconsin. Wonderlul stories are told among the Dakotas of 

Mg. 272.— Human Tree. 

We will 

Fig. ZlS.—Heyoka and Anungite.* 

a being with two faces. It is possible that the effigy of the man 
with two faces, which was discovered near Muscoda, was in- 
tended to represent this divinity. These may seem to be mere 
conjectures, and we do not build much upon them, but there is 
no other explanation of these figures, nor of the composite 
mounds in which the various animals and birds are mingled 

• BeinG^ with two faces. — Dorsey, Eleventh Report of the Ethnological Bureau. 


together, than that they represented some mythological creatures. 
The human effigy described by Mr. W. H. Canfield may pos- 
sibly represent one of these divinities, as it resembles the picto- 
graphs in some respects. The best specimen, however, at least 
the one that is most suggestive, is the human effigy which was 
discovered by the writer in company with F. W. Putnam near the 
schoolhouse at Baraboo. This effigy was situated at the south 
end of a line of burial mounds; was lying on a slope of a hill. 
One arm was partially raised, the other was akimbo. Only one 
leg could be seen. The only explanation of the effigy is that it 
was an effigy of the divinity Heyoka, who is always represented 
as having one leg and an arm partially raised. See Fig. 274. 

5. The customs of the modern Indians in celebrating their 
dances and feasts and sacred mysteries -. - , 

clear up many points. These dances ~ — "" 

and mysteries have been described. j- -^^? 

If we compare these descriptions with .^^^ 
those that are furnished by Catlin and ^-7^ 

other earlier writers we shall find a re- "^ 

markable correspondence, and not only i 

this, but we secure a very satisfactory 

explanation of certain groups of effigies. -^^^ '-^ ^:^J 

Now it is to be noticed that there, are 
certain groups or lines of effigies which 
can be easily explained on the supposi- 
tion that they were the place where -^^ 
mysteries were held. One such group V 
is situated near Blue Mounds. It con- 
sists ot a long line of effigies at one end, 
a lookout mound at the other and a ^^■«'- ^^'^-^"^ ^^2/. £ara6oo. 

circle in the middle. Another group was discovered by the 
writer at Port Andrews. There was a high mound which com- 
manded an extensive view at one end, an enclosure at the other 
end, a line of swallow effigies which extended nearly a mile along 
the river under the overhanging cliffs. 

Miss Alice Fletcher has described the mystery of the elk lodge 
and the dances connected with it. One peculiarity of these 
dances was that the members occasionally emerged from their 
tents and marched along through certain familiar spots in pro- 
cession, making a route sometimes two or three miles and then 
returning to their dancehouse. "They wore masks resembling 
heads of elk, antlers shaped from boughs. They followed in a 
general way a pretty wooded creek and went three or four miles 
up the valley. Over four hours were passed in this tortuous 
dance. The whole movement of this dance with its queer pos- 
turing and actions was not without grace and produced a lasting 
impression." It is probable that this group of effigies marked 
the site of a similar ceremony, and that the march of the dancers 



was along this line. The lookout mound 'commands a view of 
the entire group and of another group situated five miles distant 
on the opposite side of the river. 

The explanation ot this group is that here on the summit of 
the hill there was an important tribal burial or other religious 
ceremony of the tribe, and the various clans assembled here and 
lelt the effigies as clan totems upon the surface. We will say 

further that there are many 
localities where effigies are 
clustered around some central 
ring, and these groups are gen- 
erally located near some vil- 
lage site, conveying the idea 
that the members of the differ- 
ent clans were accustomed to 
assemble in the council houses 
and on the dance grounds and 
make a common feast together. 
Another specimen of a sa- 
cred dance circle or mystery 
lodge is the one which has 
been discovered at Green 
or circle on the hill-top not far 

Fig. 215.—Beyoka, Dakota Divinity. 

Here there is a ring 

from the village site, and around the ring a number of effigies 
in various attitudes, among which were recognized the squirrel, 
fox, eagle and pigeon, all of which were the totems of clans near 
by. It is possible that these 


indicate the presence of clans 
at a dance or feast, and yet 
the ring suggests a medicine 
lodge, and reminds us of 
Catlin's picture of the medi- 
cine lodge of the Mandans. 
Another group is situated at 
Lake Koshkonong. Here 
there is a platform mound 

which has about the same j^^g^ye.- Medicine Lodge in a shelter Cave. 

proportions as the sacred 

lodge of the Dakotas, which was elliptical in shape— twenty feet 

across and forty feet long. 

Another specimen is one found on the north side of Lake 
Mendota. This is a group which extends along the edge of the 
lake for a mile and a half or two miles. There is, at one end of 
it a cluster of effigies, in the midst of which was a high conical 
mound. The effigies are situated on lower ground, but all of 
them near the water. Among ihem were recognized the clan 
totems of all the adjoining clans— the panther, weasel, buffalo, 
fox, pigeon, bear, eagle, squirrel, and turtle. There are four or 




five man mounds in the group; two near the altar mound, two 
in the midst of the panthers and pigeons.* 

The best specimen of all is the one which was described by 
Mr. VV. H. Canfield as situated at Baraboo, in the midst of which 
he found a circle which was occupied by the later tribes as a site 
of a council house. Here there are four effigies of wolves, four 
bear, four and one raccoon and one elk surrounding a 
circle, all of them the emblems of the surrounding clans. f 

There is a shelter cave in West Virginia on the sides of which 
are serpents, quadrupeds and birds, also a death's head or skull 
and other symbols. This has been pronounced by W. H. Holmes 
"as a place where some medicine man practiced his mysteries." 
We may say, however, with as much reason, that the circle among 
the effigies was also a medicine lodge. See Figs, 276 and 277. 

Fia. 277.— Medicine Lodge and Cornfield at Oreen Lake. 

III. This brings us to another point — the comparison of the 
record contained in the effigies and those which are given by the 
traditions of the later tribes, especially the Dakotas and Winne- 
bagoes. We have seen that there is much information furnished 
by the effigies in reference to (i) the migrations o( the tribe and 
the route which they took; (2) in reference to the territory 
which they reached and its area and boundaries; (3) in reler- 
ence to the division into clans, and the locations of the clans and 
clan villages; (4) in reference to the religious customs and 

•The mission school of the Winnebagoes in 1832. was on Yellow R»^' Allamakee 
County Iowa, the very couaty where .he pictographs in the caves are found The schoo 
had been at Prairie d i Chiea. El Roy, on the Lemonweir River, was also a prom nent 
cente.orpopulation about the same time. See Wisconsin Winnebagoes. by Moses Paquett.. 

''■'lTi^i?e"^rrrl'cou^ndf hS and° ga^dln beds at Beloit. The garden beds were situated 
on the hank ot the Rock River, near where the Northwestern depot lormerly stood The 
rtrst Settlers rais"d iheir first vegetables on the spot where the garden beds had been There 
we,ewm fields on the bottom of Turtle Creek, near where the athletic grounds are ai 
Drelent A ouncil house built of bark, forty feet square, with poles in the center support 
fnl the roof stood near lurtle Creek, where the road t.. Shopiere crosses the creek, witt. 
Sams standme arond it. There were trails whi:h led to Rockton and to Janesv.lle on 
each tide of ?herfvlr? and another leading across the prairie toward Delavan Lake. One 
of these crosses the college campus through the group of mounds. 



practices of the people, and even the names of the divinities 
which they worshiped. These were facts concerning which 
there was no intent on the part of the effigy-builders to 
preserve a record, and it is only incidental to the life they 
led, and especially to the custom of erecting efngies wherever 
they were, that so much has been preserved upon the soil. 
Still they bring the people who built the effigies very near to 
us, and help us to identify them with the people who were occu- 
pying the region at the time of the first settlements. (5) We 
maintain, however, that there were certain events in their his- 
tory concerning which the effigy-builders did make a record, 
and that they left this record upon the soil, and that if we com- 
pare this with the other records which have been brought down 
to us from the prehistoric times by the tribes, we shall find the 
correspondence as striking as before. 





li'iy. 216, — I'lCluyrayii vj a Uame Ltnve. 

The comparison of the effigies to the pictographs or 
mnemonic charts which are extant among the modern tribes, 
especially among the Dakotas, will then be in place. These 
pictorial charts may be divided into several classes, (i.) Those 
which contain the myths and traditions, and especially the 
migration myths. (2.) Those which relate to the sacred mysteries 
and which perpetuate the songs and sacred symbols of the abor- 
igines. (3.) Those which contain the names of chiefs and pri- 
vate individuals in a list which may resemble the roster roll 
of modern armies. (4.) Those which relate to the events which 
have occurred in the history of a tribe. These are all very 
valuable and furnish many clews to the interpretation of the 
effigies, but it is with the fourth class that we have especially to 
do in the comparison. According to the testimony of Colonel 
Mallery, the Dakotas had certain persons among them who were 
trained to the art of picture-writing, or record-keeping, and who 


were really the tribal historians. They filled an important office, 
and resembled in this respect the keeper of the sacred pipes, 
whose office was hereditar5\ Their records related to very 
trifling events, or events that seem to us very trifling — such 
as the appearance of certain diseases ; killing a small number of 
Dakotas by their enemies; the hardships of certain seasons; the 
stealing of a certain number of horses; the celebration of certain 
dances; the building ot trading posts; the appearance of soldiers 
— most of them modern events. It is through these charts or 
pictographs that we learn the method of recording events and 
the kind of events which were regarded as worthy of record, 
and by studying these we find there was a very general resem- 
blance to certain groups of effigies which are found in the state. 
We find that in these groups there are records, but they are 
records of a clan which occupied certain villages and claimed 


Fig. 279.— Game Drive near Madison 

certain habitats, and which held the right to certain garden 
beds, cornfields, caches and game drives, the burial of chiefs, and 
the celebration of the dances, and pertained to the prehis- 
toric period. The most striking record is that which relates to 
the conducting of successful hunts, especially by members of the 
clans which have wandered from their own habitats, and have 
killed certain animals in remote out-of-the-way places. This 
last method of making a record is, to be sure, one which brings 
some confusion into the clan map, for it presents the animal 
totem of distant clans on the habitats of other clans and asso- 
ciated with animals which are not clan totems at all. Ordinarily 
a game drive will contain the effigies of the animals hunted, as 
well as the totem of the clan on whose territory the game drive 
is situated. There will also be the animals which may be regarded 
as prey-gods, such as the fox, eagle, hawk, buzzard, panther, and 
wolf These are all beasts of prey, but were, nevertheless, 
invoked by the hunters as aids. It was the custom to defer the 
hunt for the large animals, such as the elk, buffalo and deer, 
until after a dream had appeared and all the signs were favorable, 
for hunting was as much a religious exercise as dancing or the 
burial of a chief. If we examine the groups of effigies which 
are plainly game drives, we shall find this to be the case in the 
majority of instances. The game drives have the animal hunted 


and the people hunting surrounded by the animals who are 
attending the hunters, thus making an actual pictograph, in 
which the clan totems and the animals are mingled together, 
the number of animals slain being sometimes recorded in the 
strmg of circular mounds. The game drives were made up of 
mechanical contrivances, (a) such as embankments covered with 
screens of brush ior hiding the hunters;* (b) also groups of conical 
mounds, on which lookouts were stationed, and long lines of 
mounds situated on the bluffs, which served as elevated ways 
and runways for the lookout messengers; (c) also conical mounds 
surrounded by embankments on which fires could be lighted at 
night for the purpose of attracting the game;t (d) also embank- 
ments which surrounded the feeding places of the grazing ani- 
mals; (e) a series of game drives or traps through which the 
animals would be chased until they became confused and were 
slaughtered by the hunters;| (f) occasionally the building of a 
lodge near the screens, in which the hunters could stay while 
the duck and wild fowl returned from their flight. All of these 
have been noticed by the writer in different places. These were 
important, for they show what the contrivances were, and where 
they were placed, and they furnish an explanation of the map of 
the effigies. 

These we regard as specimens of picture-writing, for they are 
groups in which we may read the story of a successful hunt, and 
can tell the clan of the hunteis, the animals hunted, the number 
of animals slain, and the animals which follovved the hunt and fed 
upon the slain carcasses. These were evidently intentional records 
and could be interpreted by the efKgy-builders. It may be that 
there was claim of possession in some of the game drives, as 
the clans placed their totems near the different game drives as 
much as they did their villages, but the most remarkable of the 
groups are pictographs. We shall endeavor to illustrate this by 
certain specimens. We would here refer to the various groups 
we have called game drives, in which animals seem to be 
chasing one another; bears chasing the deer, as at Green Lake; 
also deer flying among squirrels and wolves, in the same locality; 
deer running among eagles and long mound embankments, as at 
Eagle Township; elks surrounded by eagles and mink at the 
Stone Quarry at Madison; elks or buffalo surrounded by eagles, 
and swallows, as on the Kickapoo River; moose fleeing among 
the embankments, as at Honey Creek; birds, foxes, squirrels, 

♦Th"? plat'^s illustrate this cnntrivanC'^, which was verv common. Such embankments 
were scatteied over the sta'.e, but according to Dr. Thomas' testimony, are rarely foui:d 

fFiz 21 i'lustrate: this contrivance. There are other localities in which the same con- 
trivance may be seen. One at Merrill's Sp.ings, near Madison, another on ihe east side of 
Lake Monona. 

tTh-i map of the "works ' at Eagle townshio. as well 'S that of the works at Madison, 
Illustrate this contrivance. It will be seen that there were "game drives" scattered over 
the entire region, so that the animals could scarcely escape from one before 'hey were driven 
into another. See maps. 



coons and wolves apparently in motion, as at Mayville; elk sur- 
rounded by eagles, hawks and foxes at Honey Creek; bears and 
buffalo among swallows, near Hazen's Corners; elks surrounded 
by minks and wolves at Merritt's Landing; panthers running 
among round mounds and long mounds, as at Potosi ; buffalo 
among bears at Shooting Park at Madison, panther among foxes 
or coons at New Lisbon. 

These are all of them picture writings on a large scale, for 
some of them cover several hundred feet of ground, the effigies 
in some cases being from lOO to 6oO feet in length. We cannot 
help thinking that these groups were records, as well as mechani- 
cal contrivances. They commemorate the place where certain 
animals were hunted and killed, as well as marked the place 
where the animals were accustomed to make their runways. 

r-T^ .J- 

■". "4. > .i<~-v .. 

Mff. 230.— Signal Station or Fire Decoy. 

They may represent the place where certain clans had their game 
drives, and so be signs of possession; but there are groups in 
which clan totems are remote from the clan habitats in which the 
clan totems of distant clans are mingled together. These we take 
to be the record of certain eventful hunts in which the clans met 

IV. The comparison of the cUn habitats and the clan vil- 
lages of the effigy-builders with those of the modern tribes of 
Indians will next be considered. We may say that the effigy- 
builders differed from the modern tribes in that their clans 
occupied river valleys and covered the valleys with clan totems, 
while among the later Indians whole tribes occupied the villages 
and gave their name to the rivers, for the Miami, the Illinois. 
Menominee, Iowa, Kansas and Arkansas all bear the names of 
tribes which formerly lived on them. There are also entire 
states which take their name from the aboriginal inhabitants — 
Illinois, Dakota, Kansas and Arkansas. This, however, only 
shows the changes which have occurred. 

Now this is the point which we are to bring out by the ma 



which we furnish. See map. This map is based mainly upon 
the study of the effigies; but for the purpose of comparison with 
the work which has been done by others, we have selected the 
diagram published by the Ethnological Bureau in connection 
with the catalogue of the mounds and earth-works in the state, 

7. BEAk 

8, Swallow 
f. E/Isl; 

\}0. M/w/ 
11. Piazon 

JS—PlAN Mounds] 


and which is covered with the symbols which mark the location 
of the mounds. This catalogue has been carefully made out by 
Mrs, Thomas, the wife of Dr. Cyrus Thomas, after examining 
all that had ever been written upon the effigy-builders, and the 
locations of the mounds noted. We have added to the map 
certain straight lines, which, according to our study of the 
effigies, mark the habitats of tne clans. The map itself will 
illustrate the river system and the conformity of the clan habitats 
to the system. We will only mention the name of the clans and 


the number of effigies which were left by them, and then leave 
the reader to decide as to the identity of the clan with the local- 
ity. The following is the list: (i.) There are in the Fox River 
valley over twenty panther effigies, located as follows : at Bur- 
lington, one; Big Bend, nine; Racine, five; Milwaukee, five. 
There are in this region no wolves, deer, foxes, elk, or even 
eagles, though there are a few birds resembling prairie chickens 
and several turtles. The evidence is that the panther was the 
totem of the clan. (2.) The valley of the Milwaukee River 
contains many wolf effigies, showing that it was the habitat of the 
wolf clan. They are as follows: Milwaukee, seven; Waukesha, 
seven; West Bend, eight. There are a very few panthers, very 
few turtles, but several wild geese in this district. There are 
more wolves here than in any other part of the state. (3.) The 
Sheboygan River seems to have been the habitat of the coon, 
for coon effigies are numerous, though squirrel effigies are as 
numerous, making it somewhat doubtful as to which was the 
clan totem. There are at Sheboygan five coons and four squir- 
rels ; West Bend, two coons, fourteen squirrels and eight wolves, 
showing that the clans mingled together and were at peace with 
one another. (4.) The squirrel habitat was in the vicinity ot 
Lake Winnebago and Green Lake, for squirrel effigies are very 
numerous here. It was a clan which seemed to frequently go 
beyond its borders, for there are groups in which squirrel effigies 
abound in the following places: Lake Winnebago, fourteen; 
Sheboygan, eleven; West Bend, twelve ; Green Lake, east side, 
fourteen; Green Lake, west side, six; Utley's, six; Buffelo Lake 
four; Lake Puckaway, four — seventy in all. (5.) The habitat 
of the fox clan was in the vicinity of Lake Iloricon and Rock 
River, with its branches. It contains about seventeen fox effigies ; 
Mayville, five; Horicon, seven; Ripley Lake, two; Fox Lake, 
three. (6.) The habitat of the turtle clan was in the Rock Kiver 
valley, for there are here twenty-five or thirty turtles ; at Beloit, 
seventeen; Lake Koshkonong, seven; Aztalan,* five; Fort At- 
kinson, three; Delevan Lake, five; Lake Geneva, one. (7.) The 
bear clan was situated south of the Wisconsin River and on the 
dividing ridge. Here are thirty-eight bear effigies, as fol- 
lows: at Madison, three; seven miles west, seven, Blue 
Mounds, six; Mount Horeb, two ; Banfield Place, eight; on the 
Wisconsin River, five; on the Iowa bluffs, seven. (8.) The 

*The tribal capital was undoubtedly situated at Azt;ilan, for this was centrally Icated 
; nd was connected wi h nil the other cl-ms b. trails and water courses. Tiepiaifotm 
mounds, the walls with bastions, and the outworks are similnr to tl ose in the village site 
in Vanderburgh County Indiana, which have t)t en recentl- described bv Dr. Thomas in 
t'C bjok on Mound Exploration. Ii oniy shows the resemblance betwe nthe tribal villages 
or capita s in prehistoric tunes. 1 here is a resemblance between clan v llages ha\e 
bi-en identift d among the effigies and the a cient village of Secotan, which was painted by 
the artist Wyeth and described I'V DeBry. 1 his proves that the clan v llajes weie v ry 
similar to tribal vila es; cUn villages ha\ing gaiden beds, corn fields; lookouts and guards 
in thf fields, ponds and springs of wa er, places lor shooting game, dance ciicles, places of 
s.icred leas s, and bunal places. Some of them were surrounded v\ithstjCKades, some with 
heavy earth walls, as in Ohio; some with effigies, as in Wisconsin, and some of ihem with- 
out any defense, as in Virginia. 


swallow clan was situated north of the Wisconsin and on the 
Kickapoo River, with twenty-seven effigies, as follows: On the 
dividing ridge Sec. 6, T. 8, R. 5, one; at Prairie du Chien, three; 
Hazen's Corner's ten; on the Kickapoo, three; Port Andrews, 
eleven; on the Iowa bluffs, five ; Honey Creek, four; Sec. 19, 
T. 9, R. s I. (9.) The eagle clan had its habitat north of the 
Wisconsin, Indian River and Honey Creek, with thirty-six eagle 
effigies at the following places; Eagle township, twenty; Mus- 
coda, five; Honey Creek (Sec. 5, T. 10, R. 7), three; at the 
Delles, three ; Madison, five. (10.) The mink clan had its hab- 
itat on the Baraboo and on the Wisconsin, with twenty-two 
mink effigies as follows; Devil's Lake, three; Baraboo, thirteen; 
Endeavor, on Buffalo Lake, three ; Madison, three. (11.) The 
Pigeon clan was on the Lemonweir, with effigies at Mauston, 
seven; One-mile Creek, three; New Lisbon, three. (12) The 
clan occupying the Four Lake region seemed to have the man 
mound for its totem.* There are fifteen man mounds : Lake Men- 
dota, four; Lake Monona, two; Devil's Lake, three; Baraboo, 
two; Seven-mound Prairie, two; on the Wisconsin River, two. 
There are no man mounds outside of this region. 

We see then from this map that the clans were widely scat- 
tered, but were at the same time closely connected, for the 
river system of the state forms a unit, which favors the abode of 
a single tribe divided into clans. There is no disputing the evi- 
dence. There may be mistakes in reference to the exact loca- 
tions of the villages, and occasionally a mistake in reference to 
the identity of the animals whose effigies surrounded the villages, 
but the correspondence of the clan habitats to the river valleys 
is too well marked by the grouping of the effigies for us to 
doubt this point. We therefore call attention to the grouping 
of the effigies as evidence that the clans occupied the river val- 
leys and had the names or totems we have ascribed to them. 

We are convinced that sreat changes have occurred since the 
mound-building age. It the ancestors of the Indians were the 
Mound-builders, as many claim that they were, the Indians have 
degenerated and their former state may be better learned from 
the study of the effigies than from the tribes that are still living. 

*The man mounds are very suggestive of a myth which prevailed among the Osages, a 
branch of the Dakotas. This myth was one which attended the tree of life. This tree 
grew beside a river and above the four houses or caves which constituted the original home 
of the human race. The tree itself was surrounded by the seven stars— morning s'ar, even- 
ing star, sun and moon— and was in the upper world. According to the myth, the souls of 
men were at first without bodies, but as they passed up the ladder from one cave world to 
another they applied for bodies, but did not receive them until they reached the fourth 
world. They thed did not receive human bodies, but the bodies of birds, the wmgs serving 
for ariTis; the birds' bodies and beaks for human heads and bodies; the birds' toes and 
claws for humati feet. This accounts for the many figures in the inscribed rocks which re- 
semble both birds and human beings (see Diagrams AllI and XIV); also for the many bird 
effigies which so resemble human forms, the birds shading more and more into the human 
shape. See Fig. 271; also Plate. 




Algonquins, 25S. 

Atkinson, Gen., 208, 24S. 

Armstrong, Thomas, 228, 

Aztalan, 209. 

Asylum Grounds. S, 21, 27, 66, 76, U2, 225. 

Allamakee Co., la., 386. 

Aurora. 111., 378. 

Adams Co., Ohio, 105. 

Adams Co , 111., 343. 

Allouez, 247. 

' B 

Bailey's Place, 13. 

Black Hawk. 18, 238, 282. 

Black Hawk's Is., 242. 

Baraboo, 75. 309. 319. 389- 

Big Bend, loi, 201, 202, 203, 204. 

Boscobel, 347. 

Bingham's Place. 247, 24S. 

Black Earth, 93, 3^9. 

Burlington, 343, 347. 

Beloit, 10, 40, 76, 100, 163, 164, 165, 213, 246, 251, 

256, 250, 254, 297, 302, 309, 311, 348. 
Blue Mounds. 39. 43. 
Batavia, 314. 
Blue River, 71. 
Buffalo Lake, 360. 
Bird Hill, 5,9. 
Bastions, 207. 
Bryan, J. O., 325. 
Brinton. Dr. D. G.. 159. 
Brown, Rev. Ed.. 27. 
Buel, Prof. Ira. 321. 
Brandon. 274. 

Canfield, W. H., 60, 65, 74, 76, 89, 91, 121, 157. 

301,305, 319. 
Catlin, Geo., 193, 228, 267, 280,330. 
Carver, Jonathan, 193, 240. 
Champlain. 118, 161, 193. 
Charlevoix, 153, 161. 
Clarke, W. P., 233. 
Crawford Co.. 309, 314, 345. 347. 379- 
College Grounds, 165, 198 255. 
Cat Fish Bridge. 265, 
Columbia Co , 321. 
Calumet Co.. 346. 
Clan Emblems, 139, 193, 205, 215, 234, 252, 258, 

296, 301, 305. 307. 345. 396. 
Corn Hills, 194, 197, 211, 310. 
Copper Relics, 118, 120, 237. 
Cemeteries, Effigies in. 209. 234, 243. 

Dane Co , 14,21, 38, 42, 50, 74. 99, 112. 259, 265, 

272, 304, 316, 365, 367. 369. 
Dodge Co., 8, 19, 22, 323, 364. 
Delevan Lake. 345, 349. 
DeHart. Dr., 7. no. 224. 238. 
Dorsey, Rev. J. O., 280. 
Dakotas, 250, 2S5. 
Drowne, A. C, 293. 
Devil's Lake. 319. 

Eagle Township. 258,303; 358. 
Endeavor. 360. 363. 
Elephant Effigies. 25, 176. 

Fox Lake. 2d8. 308. 

Florida. 169. 

Ft. .Atkinson. 229. 


Green Lake, 210. 211. 267. 303, 320, 362. 

Grant Co , 30. 3I, 36, 217. 223, 242. 30?. 313, 343, 

Gi-anville, Ohio, 103. 
Georgia, Effigies in, 171. 
Green Bay, 153. 
Game Drives. 145-168, 201, 259, 303. 308, 360, 

362, 369, 370, 392. 
Garden Beds, 122, 138, 323. 


Hazen's Corners, 379, 216, 309, 314. 

Honey Creek. 6, 7, 62, 71, 88, 91, 241, 298, 309, 

Horicon, 8, 16, 17, 19. 51, 55. 315. 

Hanover, 111., 378. 

Holmes, W. H.. 184. 270. 

Hyer. M. F., 205. 

Heg, Col. C, 227. 

Hubbard, B. B., 122. 

Hoy, Dr. J. E„ 127, 135.234- 

Indian Prairie, 49. 141, 143. 
Illinois Effigies, 364, 378. 
Iowa, 377, 384, 386. 


Koshkonong, 33, 41, 51, 108, iir, 134, 226, 235, 

137, 241, 243, 248, 268, 269, 369. 
Kickapoo River, 7, 215. 
Kalamazoo, 123, 133. 



LaCrosse, 360. 

LaCrosse Co., 158. 

Lake Mills, 208, 295. 

Lenionwier River, 359- 

LaCrescent, Minn , 376. 

Lafayette Co., 44- 

Laphan, Dr, L A., 6, ib 13, 16. 18. 20, 22, 24, 28, 

38, 45, 52, ?,4. 58, 71. 82, 84, 91, 132, 134, 141. 

195, 197, 206, 230. 300, 315. 
Lewis, T. H., 170. i73. 2>5. 284. 376- 
Locke. Prof. J. P.. 14, 39. 40. 


Milwaukee. 55., 141. 244. 356- 

Milwaukee River, 356. 

Mandans, 349. 

Mayville, 20, 22, 63. 66, 137, I39. 323- 

Montello, 361. 

Muscoda, s, 44, 45. 6i- 

Mills" Woods,' 50, 90, 262, 370. 

Madison, 8, 14, 15. 27, 37. 38, 42. 43. 48, 74- 84, 

87, 90, 112. 165, 304. 30?. 308. 365. 367. 369. 
Monona Lake, 50. 
MacGregor, 377. 
Mauston, 359. 
Merrill's Springs, 303. 
Mendota Lake, 72, 279, 367. 
Marquette, 152. 
Menominees, T50, 349. 
Minnesota, Ef. in, 376, 380. 
Mascoutens, 150. 


New Lisbon, 30S. 
Nicodemus, Prof. P., 211. 
Nichols" Place, 264. 

Otto Creek, 71. 
Ohio, 120. 

Prairie Du Chien, 213, 222, 314. 
Pewaukee Lake, 256. 
Potosi, 371. 
Packwaukee. 360. 

Potowottamies, 349. 
Picture Cave, 9. 28, 158, 387- 
Puckaway Lake, 257,361. 
Port Andrews, 358, 373- 
Picture Cave, la., 382. 
Putnam, F. W., 332, 340. 359- 
Phene, Dr. J. S., 25, 205, 268, 330- 
Perkins, F, S.. 236. 

Ripley Lake, 10. 321. 

Rocktord, 378. 

Rockton, 349. 

Racine, 232, 234. 

Richland Co., 61, 71. 3o3. 358. 

Rock Co., 41, 100, 15,2, 163, 165, 251, 302. 

Sheboygan, 284. 

Sank Co., 12, 21, 71, 75. 88, 91. 93. i67. 277. 29S 

301, 307, 309. 311. 319. 360, 370, 389- 
Sioux, 239. 
Shawnecs, 349. 

Strong, Moses P., 26, 27, 3i. 222. 
Squier, 21, 45, 105. 
Shooting Park. 369. 
Stone Quarry, 304. 

Thomas, Dr. C, 206, 213, 322. 


Utley's Quarries, 257, 274, 39". 

Wingra Lake, ij, 63, 259. 

Wyalusing, 302. 

Washington Co., i37. i39. i57. 292. 

Wisconsin R., 5. 25. 61, 65, 16b, 283. 

Walworth Co., 301, 303, 311. 349- 

Waukesha Co., 83, loi, 195. 198. 201, 202, 203. 

204, 256. 
Winnebago Lake, 208, 257, 293, 346. 
West Bend, 292. 
Winnebagos, 205. 




Alligator Mound. O— Fig., SS, P 103. 

Altar Mound, O.— Fig. 87, P. loi; Diag. VI., 

P. 113. 

Antelope Effigies— Fig. 28. P. 36; Diag. II, 

P. 31; Fig. 249. F. 365. 
Agricultural Tools— Fig. 93. P. 120: F'ig. 9;, 

P. 121. 

Aztlan Works, At-Diag. VII., P. 208. 
Arrows— Fig. 56, P. 58; Fig. in, P. i;8; Fig. 

120, P. 167; Fig. 12, P. 172. 
Agricultural Works— Fig. 1-8, P. 102-131; Fig. 

104, P. 141. 


Bears— Figs. 24, 25, P. 27; Figs. 26, 27, P. 28; 
Diag. I & II, P. 30. 31; Fig. 32, P. 38; Fig. 
34, P. .-9; Figs. 36. 37, 38. P. 43; Fig. 41. P. 
48; Figs. 65. 66, 67. 68. P. 71: Figs. 6q, 70, 
P. 72: Fig. 71. P- 73; Fig. 72, P. 74: F'ig. 
71, P. 75,; Fig. 107. P. 157; Fig. 113. P. 158. 
Fig. 130, P. 188: F"ig. -.39, P. 204: Fig. 140, 
141, P. 214; Fig. 187, P. 301: Fig. 194, P. 303, 
Fig. 214. P. 314: Diag. XIX. P. 318; Fig. 
216, P. 319: Fig. 254, P. 369; Fig. 255, P. 
370; Fig. 261, P. 377: Fig. 263, P. 379. 

Buffaloes-Fig, 3, P. 7; Figs. 6, 7. P. 9; Diag. 
I, P, 30: Fig. 263. P. 379; Fig. 118, P. 163; 
Fig. 192, P. 302; Fig. 140, P. 2(4; Fig. 
167, P. 259; Fig. 142, P. 214; Fig. 193, 
P. 30-?: Fig. 214, P. 314: Fig. 254, P. 
369; Fig. 251, P. 367; Fig. 212, P. 360: Fig. 
263, P. 379; Fig. 278, P. 392; Fig. 27, P, 28; 
Diag. I and II, P. 30. 

Burial Mounds— Fig. 144, P. 223; F"ig, 146, P. 
225; Fig. 153, P. 234; Diag. VII, P. 209: 
Fig. 164, P. 255; F"ig. 169, P. 260; Fig. 220; 
P. 322; Fig. 257, P. 372. 

Bird Effigies— Fig. 12, P. 15: Fig. 13, P. 17: 
Fig. 22, P. 22; Fig. 30, P. 37; Fig. 33, P. 38; 
Fig. 42, P. 48; Fig. 46. P. 50; Fig. 50. P. 52; 
Fig. j2, P. 53; Fig. 58, P. 61; Fig. 59. P. 62; 
Fig. 63, P. 63; Fig. 62. P. 6j; Fig. 63. P. 66; 
Fig. 63, P. 67: Fig 82, P. 9:: Fig. 83. P. 91: 
Fig. 84, P. 92; Fig. 85, P. 93; Fig. 134, P. 194: 
Fig. 138, P. 2C2; Fig. 139, P. 204; Fig. 143, 
P. 21?; Fig. 166, P. 258; Fig. 167. P. 259: 
Fig. 199. P. 306; Fig. 209, P. 311; Fig. 220, 
P. 322; Fig. 214, P. 314: Fig. 232, P. 347; 
Fig. 237. P. 349; Fig. 238, P. 356; Fig. 240, 
P. 358; Fig. 241, P. 359; Fig. 245. P. 363; 
Fig. 25.1, P. 367; Fig. 254, P. 369; Fig. 255, 
P. 370; Fig. 262, P. 378; Fig. 270, P. 386. 
Badgers— F"ig. 114, P. 158. 

Bird Tracks— Fig. 123, P. 172. 

Pird Hill -Fig. 134, P. 194. 
Bird Mound, Ga —Fig. 122, P. 171. 
Bird Pictographs— Diag. XIII, P. 285; Diag. 
XIV. P. 286. 


Cat Fish — Fig. i\ P. 11. 

Caches— Fig. 79, P. 86: F'ig. 137. P. 230; Fig. 

97, P. 133: Diag. XX: P. 322. 
Corn Fields— F'ig. 134. P. 194: Fig. 13;, P. 197. 
Composite Mounds— Figs. 61, 62, P. 65. 
Crosses— Figs, 53, P. 54; Figs. 54 and 55, P. 55; 

Diag. XII. 
Craw Fish-Fig. 33. P- 38- 
(. rane— Fig. 171, P. 262. 
Clan Emblems— Fig. 118. P. 162; F~ig. 137. P. 

203; Diag. XIX. P. 319; Figs. 234 and 235, 

P. 347; Fig. 240, P. 358; Fig. 241. P. 359; 

Fig. 242, P. 362; Fig, 244, P. 362; Fig. 261, 

P. 377; Fig. 275, P. 390. 
Coon— Fig. 200, P. 3 7. 

Deer-Fig. 5, P. 8; Fig. 8. P. 9; Fig. 133, P. 

191; Fig. 187. P. 391; Fig. 194 and 193, P. 

303; Fig. 196. P. 304; Fig. 244, P. 362: Fig. 

249. P, 363; Fig. 251, P. 267; Fig. 255, P. 

370; Fig. 266, P. 382. 
Ducks— Fig. 31, P. 38; Fig. 48, P. 3; Fig. 60, P. 

63; Diag. Ill and \'. P. 41 and 42. 

Eagles- Fig. 30. P. 37; Fig. 37, P. 39; Fig. 59. 

P. 62; Fig. 63, P. 66: Fig. S2, P. 90; Fig. 83, 

P. 91; Fig. 84, P. 92; Fig. 83. P. 93; Fig. 

122, 1 . 171; Fig. 134. P. 194: Fig. 166. P. 

258; Fig. 167, P. 239: Fig 187, P. 301; Fig. 

197, P. 304; Fig. 231, P. 367: Fig. 234, P. 369; 

Fig. 233, P. 370. 
Elk— Fig 59, P. 62: Fig. 90, P. 107; Fig. IC4, P. 

159; Fig. 186, P. 298; Fig. 197, P. 304; Fig. 

242, 360; Fig. 263, P. 379: Diag. XIV. P. 318. 
Elephant Effigies.— Fig. 23. P 23; Fig. 124, 

P. 176. 
Eel-Fig. 85. P. 99- 

Fish— Fig. 10, P. 11; F"ig. 33, P. 38; Fig. 170, 
P. 261; Fig. 212 and 213, P. 312; Fig. 236, 
P. 349; Fig. 26;, P. 376; Fig. 263, P. 382; 
Fig. 267 and 26S, P. 384. 

Foxes.— Fig. II, P. 14; Fig. 12, P. 13; Fig. 13 
and 14, P. 16; Fig. 16 and 17, P. 19; Fig. 
18, P. 20; Fig. 73. P- 75; Fig. 99. P- 138; 
F^ig. 203. P. 309; Fig 262, P. 378; Fig. 276, 
P. 390; Fig. 277. P. 391; Diag. XX, P. 320. 



Game Drives— Fig. 59. t"- 62; Fig. 81, P. 88; 
Fig. 118. P. 163; Fig. 119. P- 165; Fig. 120, 
P. 167: Fig. 137, P. 20o; Fig. 139, P. 204; 
Fig. 172, P. 265: Fig. ig?. P. 303; Fig. 214. 
P. 314; Fig. 239, P. 3S7; Fig. 244, P. 362: 
Fig. 254, P. 369; Fig. 255. P. 370; Diag. 
XVI. P. 308. 

Garden Beds— Figs. i-S, P. 122-131; Figs. 100; 
P. 139; Fig. 101, P. 141; Fig. iS3. P- 234: 
Fig. 221, P. 323; PI- I. 2. 3. 4. P- 124. 

Hazen's Corners, Ef. At— Fig. 2c6, P. 309. 
Human Figures-Figs. 39, 40. 4i. ?• 44; Figs. 

179. 180, P. 277; Fig. 203, P. 309; Fig. 218, 

P. 319; Figs. 272 and 273. P. 388; Fig. 274. 

P. 389; Fig. 279. P. 393- 
Hawk Effigies-Fig. 3, P. 7; Fig. 46, P. 50: 

Fig. 52, P. S3; Fig. 58. P. 61; Fig. 59. P. 62; 

Fig. 63, P. 66; Fig. 2S?, P- 37o; Fig. 27S, 

P. 392. 
Heyolca— Fig. 270. P. 380, 386; Fig. 271, P. 3S7; 
Fig. 273. P. 388; Fig. 275, P. 390. 


Intaglio Effigies— Fig. loi. P. 141: Fig. 102, P. 

143; Fig. 103. P. 144; Fig. 150. P. 229. 
Indian Trails— Fig. i34, P. I94; Fig. 13S. P- i97; 

Fig. 136. P. 198; Fig. 137. P. 200. 


Koshkonong— Fig. 10. P. n: Fig. 15. P- i7; 
Diag. III. P. 33: Diag. IV., P. 41; Fig. 48, 
P. 51; Fig. 147, P. 226; Fig. i?7. P. 243; Fig. 
253 and 254. P. 268. 

Kickapoo River, Kf. on— Fig. 3, P. 7- 

Loon— Fig. 109, P. 157. 
Lynx-Fig. 71. P- 73- 
Lakeside-Fig. 77. P- 84. 

Lizards-Diag. XV, P. 292; Fig. 187, P 301; 
Fig. 195, P. 296. 


Man Mounds— Figs. 39, 40, 41; P- 44: Fig. 180, 
P. 277; Fig. 218, P. 319; Fig. 274- P. 389. 

Mink -Fig. 73. P- 75: Fig. 197. P- 304; Fig. 199. 
P. 306; Fig. 242, P. 360; Fig. 250. P. 366- 

Moose-Fig. i, P. 5; Fig. 2, P. 6; Fig. 190. P- 
302: Fig. 262. P. 378; Fig. 263, P. 379. 


New Lisbon. Effigies at-Diag. X\I, P. 308- 

Owl-Fig. 50, P. 52; Fig. 245, P. 363; Fig- 262, 

P. 378. 
Otter— Fig. 21, P. 21. 

Panther— Fig. 7i, P. 73; Fig. 74 and 75, P. 82; 
Fig. 76, P. S3; Fig. 77, P- 84; Fig 78, P. 85; 
Fig. 79. P. 86; Fig. 80. P. 87; Fig. 81, P. 88; 
Fig. 159. P. 245; Fig. 160, P. 251; Fig. 168, 
P. 260; fig. 172. P. 265; Fig. 219,' P. 321; 
Fig. 234, P. 3481 Fig. 231, P. 347; Fig. 251; 
P. 367; Fig. 252 and 253, P- 368; Fig. 256, 

P. 371. 
Pigeons— Diag. IV. P. 41: Fig. 46, P. 50: Fig. 

234 and 335, P. 347: Fig. 241. P. 359- 
Prairie Hens— Fig. 51. P- 52; Fig. 136, P. 198; 

Fig. ijg. P. 204. 
Prairie Wolf— Fig. 51. P- 52. 

RahtMts— Fig. 27, P. 28; Fig. 72. P. 74- 

Squirrel— Fig. 20, P. 21; Fig. 22, P. 22; Fig. 47. 

P. 51; Fig. J73. P- 267; Fig. 176. P. 274; 

Fig. 183, P. 284; Fig. 2C9. P 311: Fig. •243, 

P. 361; Fig. 244, P. -62; Fig. 251, P 367: 

Fig. 269. P. 385; Diag. \III. P. 211; Diag. 

XV. 292; Diag. XX. P. 320. 
Serpent— Fig. 176. P. 274; Fig. i77. P- 275: Fig" 

221. P. 323; Fig. 226. P. 335; Fig. 227. P. 

336; Fig. 22S. P. 343; Fig, 246. P. 364; Figs. 

267 and 268, P. 3S4; Fig. 269, P. 385- 
Swallow Effigies-Fig. 143, P. 215; Fig. 214^ 

P. 3'4. Fig. 240, P. 358; Fig. 25S, P. 373: 

Fig. 261, P. 277. 
Sheboygan, Ef. at-Fig. 183, P. 284. 

Thunder Birds— Fig. 63, P. 67: Fig. 270, P. 

Turtle Effigies-Fig. 29, P. 37; Fig. 32, P. 38: 
Fig. 35, P. 40; Fig. 43. P- 48; Fig. 46, P. So< 
Fig. 49, P. 52; Fig. 118, P. 163; Fig. 136. P- 
198; Fig. 139, P. 204. Diag. VII, P. 209. 
Eig. 151, P. 231; Fig. 160, P. 251; Fig. 161- 
165, P. 252-256; Fig. 219, P. 321: Fig. 235. 
P." 348; Fig. 236. P. 349; Fig- 247. P- 364; 
Fig. 253, P. 368; Fig. 262, P. 378. 


Wild Goose— Fig. 12, P. 15: Fig. 16, 17, P. i9; 

Fig. 22, P. 22. Fig. 46. P. 50; Fig. 47, P- 5i; 

Fig. 53, P. 54; Fig. 54. P- 55: Fig. 60, P. 

63; Fig. 72. P. 74; Fig. 167, P. 259; Fig. 198. 

P. 305: Fig. 23S, P. 359; Diag. V. P. 42; 

Diag. VIII, P. 2Ti; Diag. XX, P. 320. 
Wolf— Fig. 27, P. 28; Fig 76. P. 83; Fig. 97, P- 

133: Fig. 136, P. 198; Fig. 198,305: Fig. 219, 

P. 321; Diag. XL. P. 292; Fig. 239, P. 357; 

Fig. 242, P. 360; Fig. 24S, P. 365. 
Wild Cat-Fig. 27, P. 28; Diag, XV. P. 292. 


'^ .• \